Despite a lack of evidence that the chemicals used during the operation has a major impact on drinking water, environmentalists believe that the new regulations amount to a gift to oil and gas companies.
“I think it was a lost opportunity,” said Kate DeAngelis from Friends of the Earth.
She believes that stronger regulations on federal land would have set an example for states and the industry. She also hoped for the closing of the “Halliburton loophole” put in place in 2005, which exempts fracking from parts of the Safe Drinking Water.
“[We] continue to wonder why the Interior Department isn’t putting conservation as its top objective,” said Bill Snape of the Center for Biological Diversity.
He added that the new rules fail at protecting public lands from fracking, which “can contaminate groundwater, air, soil and waterways, and harm the health of humans and animals.”