Pennsylvania

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Environmental Law Firm Says Wyoming’s Fracking Disclosure Regs Fall Short

Susan Phillips / StateImpactPA

A drill rig in Susquehanna County, Pa.

Wyoming was the first state to require gas drillers to disclose the chemicals used to frack wells. But Earthjustice, an environmental law firm based in New York, says state regulators have approved 50 requests by gas and oil companies not to make certain ingredients public.

To frack a well, a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals are used at high pressure to extract the gas. Wyoming’s law, like Pennsylvania’s requirements, allow companies to withhold information they say are trade secrets, or proprietary. In Pennsylvania, the companies themselves get to decide what is proprietary. But in Wyoming, the state’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has oversight.
Earthjustice, on behalf of several Wyoming-based environmental groups, will file a petition on Monday seeking court intervention to release the identities of the ingredients that oil and gas companies have withheld. The group says the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission acted illegally by granting exemptions to the state’s disclosure law. For more on Pennsylvania’s disclosure requirements, and how they stack up against other states like Wyoming, click here.

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