Canonsburg, PA – After months of collaborative efforts led by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), www.FracFocus.org officially launched yesterday. The site, funded in part by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, will disclose the additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process on a well-by-well basis. These additives typically make of less than 0.5 percent of the fluids used in the process – the remaining 99.5 percent is made up of water and sand.
“As underscored in our Guiding Principles, our industry is continuously working to improve best practices while seeking transparency across all of our operations. This new site is a critical tool, and represents a positive step toward further heightening transparency,” said Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition. “This online database should also bring closure to the question of what and how many additives are used in the fracturing process, a tightly-regulated 60 year old technology that’s been safely used more than 1.1 million times across the nation without ever impacting groundwater.”
In a release, GWPC executive director Mike Paque said: “For the past six months, our two organizations have been working together to build this first-of-its-kind web-based national chemical registry. As more and more questions were asked about the hydraulic fracturing process the past couple of years – particularly relating to chemical additives used in the process – we recognized an obstacle to greater disclosure was the lack of a uniform and efficient way to collect, report, and ensure public access. Information about additives used in the process was widely distributed, but difficult to access.”
o Can drilling companies keep the names of chemicals used at drilling sites a secret?
o No. Drilling companies must disclose the names of all chemicals to be stored and used at
a drilling site in the Pollution Prevention and Contingency Plan that must be submitted to
DEP as part of the permit application process.