07 Feb US to Require Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals on Public Land
According to draft rules being crafted by the US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, natural gas drillers will be required to disclose which chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
Under the new rules, companies would be required to disclose the “complete chemical makeup of all materials used” in fracking fluids. The fracking process currently involves blasting chemical-laced water along with sand deep below the ground to release oil and gas trapped within rock formations. Considerations for the regulations began last year, and are compatible with rules already set into place in states such as Wyoming and Texas, allowing limited exemptions for “legitimate trade secrets.”
The proposed rules will also require drillers to ensure stability of underground casing in wells and ensure that waste water from fracking will not leak into the environment. Although the Interior Department is moving forward with the proposed regulations, there is not a specific timeline for when they will be released. The department will accept feedback once the proposal is officially issued before finalizing any regulations.
“We will continue to gather public input throughout this process to ensure that the disclosure rule enhances public confidence in hydraulic fracturing on public lands, while also encouraging continued safe and responsible exploration and production for many decades to come,” Interior spokesman Adam Fetcher said in a statement.