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Wyoming First State to Require Chemicals Disclosure for Natural Gas Drilling

Wyoming has implemented new rules that require natural gas drillers to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, but fall short of full transparency, according to two citizen groups.

Under the new Wyoming rules companies must submit to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission a complete list of chemicals they plan to use in hydraulic fracturing or fracking operations on a well-by-well basis, and report on their chemical concentrations when the job is completed, reports ProPublica.

“This is the toughest disclosure rule on the books, but the devil’s in the details. Governor Freudenthal and the oil and gas commission have taken a strong first step with fracking disclosure. But we still need legislation to protect citizens in every natural gas drilling state and prevent drilling companies from trying to keep chemicals used in oil and gas drilling, fracking and production secret,” said Deb Thomas, an organizer with the Powder River Basin Resource Council, in a press release.

The citizens groups say fracking is suspected of polluting groundwater in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, New York and other states. Earlier this month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned some residents of Pavillion, Wyo., not to drink from private water wells after tests found hydrocarbons, methane and high sodium that may have come from fracking operations, say the groups.

EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project and Powder River Basin Resource Council are urging Congress to pass legislation that all Americans have the right to know about hazardous drilling chemicals that could contaminate water supplies.

In June 2009, two companion Senate and House bills, called the FRAC ACT — Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, amending the Safe Drinking Water Act (H.R. 2776 and S. 1215) — were introduced to repeal the oil and gas industry’s exemption from the U.S.’s safe drinking water law. The legislation would require them to disclose the chemicals they use in their hydraulic fracturing processes.

In March, the EPA launched a $1.9-million research study into the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing, used in the extraction of natural gas, on water quality and public health.

 The EPA also wrapped up a series of public meetings on hydraulic fracking this week. The agency is currently urging companies for more information about the chemicals used in fracking, which they say are trade secrets, reports ProPublica.

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2 thoughts on “Wyoming First State to Require Chemicals Disclosure for Natural Gas Drilling

  1. This is great news! I hope all states follow this requirement! The envionment and our public lands where some of these leases have been granted are too valuable to distroy with all the contanimates that the fraccing process leave behind. Natural gas maybe cause fewer green house gasses while it is used compaired to other fules but the process used to get there is causing great damage and cost to lands, people and animals that can never be paid for! The safe drinking water exemption that was granted should be repealed! We work so hard to reduce green house gases by doing the little things that could make a differance but when these big well operations are dumping it all back in how can we keep up? Thank You Wyoming!!!

  2. Yeh, I suppose this is what’s hapenning right here in my country (Papua New Guinea)too. When we have drilling companies coming in search of oil & gas people began to experience; fish dying, skin diseases, and other illnesses which they did not experience before. Yet the companies could not admit that it may perhaps be from their activities. No one knows why this is hapenning, yet the companies continues to operate. I guess we need some help here, to identify the causes of these phenomena.

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