By Alysa Landry
Special to the Times
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013
H Hydraulic fracturing on Indian land may become more difficult under new rules proposed by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management.
The Interior Department on May 16 issued new draft rules for hydraulic fracturing on public and Indian lands.
Fracturing, or “fracking,” is the process of drilling and injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to crack shale formations and unlock oil and gas.
The process is controversial because fracking releases methane gas and other toxic chemicals, which can contaminate nearby groundwater. This can be especially dangerous on the 56 million acres of Indian land in the country. On the more isolated reservations like the Navajo Nation, people and livestock depend on well water for drinking, cooking and washing.
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