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Texas Could Require Disclosure of Drilling Chemicals

April 9, 2011

“Texas, the leading gas-producing state, could help change industry practices by requiring public disclosure of the chemicals used.”

House Bill 3328 includes the creation of a website containing information about which fracking chemicals are used in each Texas well.

“Environmental Defense Fund believes that passage of this bill would create the nation’s strongest disclosure system,” said Scott Anderson, an Austin-based senior policy adviser to the group’s energy program. By embracing mandatory disclosure, he added, gas companies “have the opportunity to demonstrate to the public that the industry is no longer trying to hide the ball.”

State Representative Jim Keffer who introduced the bill said “his bill was modeled on a similar rule in Arkansas. That rule took effect in January, though it will have less trans-industry impact than a Texas rule would. Several other states are also instituting fracking disclosure requirements. Since September, Wyoming has required drillers to provide well-by-well information that is then listed on a regulatory website. Colorado mandated chemical disclosures in 2009, though the information is available to regulators (and medical personnel) only if they ask for it, and not to the general public. In February, Pennsylvania changed its rules to require disclosure of well-specific chemical information, which the public can request.”

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