Washington has revealed its first steps today that it will take to tighten regulation on fracking or hydraulic fracturing. It seeks to gather public views concerning whether energy firms should be compelled to divulge the chemicals used in the fracking process.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to collect public comments over the next three months to determine whether energy firms and chemical manufacturers must reveal the contents of fluids used in the oil and natural gas drilling.
While fracking has improved local economies and cut U.S. dependence on energy imports, its opponents have claimed it pollutes groundwater supplies and lowers air quality.
“Today’s announcement represents an important step in increasing the public’s access to information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing activities,” said James Jones, EPA’s assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, according to Reuters.
Most U.S. states have rolled out measures to control fracking without any federal oversight. In fact, certain states have compelled companies to disclose the mix of fluids and chemicals used in fracking process.
Jones revealed that EPA intends to study the situation on state level and the available voluntary mechanisms for reporting on fracking chemicals used. Earthjustice, a nonprofit lobbying against the drilling method, petitioned EPA to compel chemical processors to disclose detailed information on the composition of fracking fluids. It also asked for those firms to make available all safety and health studies that touch on the chemical mixes.
Nonetheless, energy firms have started making voluntary disclosures on the fluids used in fracking. Baker Hughes, one of the biggest oilfield services firm in U.S., said in April that it will divulge all the chemicals used in its fracking fluids, though it won’t give out detailed formulas. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at firstname.lastname@example.org