The rush to capture natural gas from hydraulic fracturing has led to giant compressor stations alongside backyard swing sets, drilling rigs in sight of front porches, and huge flares at gas wells alongside country roads.
Air pollution from fracking includes the fumes breathed in by people nearby, as well as smog spread over a wide region and emissions of the greenhouse gas methane.
On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce the first national rules to reduce air pollution at hydraulically fractured â€” fracked â€” wells and some other oil and gas industry operations. The agency estimated that the plan it proposed in July would reduce smog-forming, cancer-causing and climate-altering pollutants from the natural gas industry by about one-fourth.
The White House in recent weeks has been reviewing the EPA plan to consider possible changes, the normal procedure for regulations. Industry groups have lobbied for exemptions that would reduce the impact of the rule, saying the original requirements are too costly. Environmental and health advocates have been talking to White House officials as well, opposing the industryâ€™s proposed changes.