CEEP > Our Work > Shale Gas > A Review of Shale Gas Regulations by State
A Review of Shale Gas Regulations by State
Experts in RFF's Center for Energy Economics and Policy are analyzing regulations and surveying regulators in the 31 states in the continental United States that have significant shale gas reserves or where industry has shown interest in shale gas development. The maps in this project show the preliminary results of these efforts for approximately 20 important regulatory elements in each state. As relevant regulations or statutes are adopted or passed, or other new information becomes available, the maps will be updated accordingly. A final report that includes all updated maps and additional analysis will be released in fall 2012. In the meantime, suggestions and comments are welcome and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of these maps is to provide an overview of the regulatory patterns, similarities, and differences among states—not to authoritatively compile any given state's regulations or fully analyze any specific regulation. Note that the maps only show state-level regulation—local regulation is excluded. As of September 24, 2012, these maps also indicate states that regulate via the permitting process and those for which research found no evidence of relevant regulation. Each map also indicates (with cross-hatching) four states that had no natural gas wells (shale or conventional) as of 2010: Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Vermont. These states are included in the survey because there is evidence of potential future development and they do have at least some relevant regulations.
To create the maps, RFF staff and outside experts reviewed state statutes, regulations, and documents, along with independent reports. Experts and regulators in the states were also contacted to review the findings.
The maps show regulations in force as of the dates on the maps, except for New York, which is treated as if the proposed rules in its 2011 Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement were currently in place. The regulations included here are not necessarily specific to shale gas, but they are applicable to shale gas. For comparison, the best practices of the American Petroleum Institute (API) are also discussed where applicable.
The maps are divided into six categories:
Site Development and Preparation, with maps showing regulations regarding pre-drilling water well testing, water withdrawals, setback restrictions from residential and other buildings, and setback restrictions from municipal and other water sources.
Well Drilling and Production, with maps showing regulations regarding the number of natural gas wells and shale gas production, various casing and cementing regulations, venting and flaring restrictions, and fracking fluid disclosure.
Flowback/Wastewater Storage and Disposal, with maps showing regulations regarding fluid storage options, freeboard requirements, pit liner requirements, flowback/wastewater transportation tracking rules, and rules for underground injection wells.
Well Plugging and Abandonment, with maps showing regulations regarding well idle time and temporary abandonment.
Well Inspection and Enforcement, with maps showing each state's number of wells per inspector, number of regulating state agencies, and accident reporting requirements.
Other, with maps showing state and local bans and moratoria, and state severance taxes.
Alan Krupnick, RFF Senior Fellow and Director of CEEP
Hannah Wiseman, Assistant Professor, Florida State University College of Law
Nathan Richardson, RFF Resident Scholar
Madeline Gottlieb, RFF Research Assistant