The Idaho Land Board, sitting as the state Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, voted unanimously today to start a negotiated rulemaking process on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The initial notice matches a temporary rule the board's already adopted. Secretary of State Ben Ysursa asked about the Bridge Energy fracking plan and the recent denial of a permit for a related compression station in Payette County, but Lands Department staffer Eric Wilson said, “That is not something the Department of Lands is involved in.”
Gov. Butch Otter said the state should at least be offering advice to Payette County about how other states have approached issues regarding fracking plans. “Obviously this is new to all of us,” he said. “We oughta have a one-stop shop,” whether that means involving the PUC, the DEQ, or other state agencies. “They ought to be at least a part of the rulemaking process or participating in it.” Here's a link to a Friday report from the Boise Weekly on the Payette County P&Z vote.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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