In May, Interior floated draft rules that would, among other requirements, force drillers operating on federal and Indian lands to disclose chemicals used when employing the method dubbed “fracking.”
Fracking involves high-pressure injections of water, chemicals and sand into shale formations to open seams that enable hydrocarbons to flow.
The method is enabling a boom in energy production from shale rock formations in several regions, which has largely occurred on state and private lands.
But the boom is bringing fears of water pollution and other environmental damage with it.
Interior had earlier planned to finalize the rules by the end of 2012, but announced last week that the timeline has been pushed back.