US Fracking Rules Would Disclose Drilling Chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing companies for more information about the chemicals in fluids, something they say is a trade secret. The agency holds the last in a series of community meetings on hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, on Wednesday in New York.

The new Wyoming rules say companies must submit to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission [3] a full list of chemicals they plan to use in fracking operations on a well-by-well basis. Companies will also have to report the concentration of each chemical used once the job is done.

Drillers retain the right to claim that certain details of the chemical mix are proprietary and should be kept confidential. It remains unclear to what extent industry will make this claim, but the commission’s supervisor, Tom Doll, expects those cases will be the exception.

“What we’ve explained to the operators and what we expect is each of these components, whatever is in that mix, will have to be disclosed,” he said.

If so, the Wyoming rules would offer the most detailed look so far at the composition of drilling fluids.

While the EPA has sought disclosure, the agency said the list of chemicals would be kept confidential. In Pennsylvania, a couple [4] of companies [5] responded to public concerns by partially disclosing the chemicals used there. The companies list hazardous components and their concentration by well, but do not provide a full list of chemicals.

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