It’s true that some additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process are considered proprietary, but we’re talking about a small fraction of the overall universe of additives. The truth is, even those additives that are considered proprietary, regulators and first responders have access to this information in the event of an emergency or a water well is thought to have been impacted by natural gas development. There are strict requirements in place regarding the disclosure of additives used in the hydraulic fracturing process; a detailed list of these additives and their common their purpose can be found by visiting www.FracFocus.org, a national chemical disclosure registry.
Moreover, the public disclosure of additives is anything but new. Federal provisions, specifically, the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, have been in place since 1986. This longstanding and continually upheld act sets forth an obligation for how companies – both energy companies and other industrial manufacturing sectors – are required to disclose information related to chemical additives; including access, uses, and impact to increase public awareness.
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In addition to federal disclosure laws, many states have developed or are developing public disclosure rules related to hydraulic fracturing. These states include Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, West Virginia, Idaho, and North Dakota. Although the content of these rules differs, the intent of each is to provide the public with information about the chemicals being used to fracture wells.( FracFocus, 2012)