Marcellus Shale Coalition Will Require Companies To Disclose Fracking Chemicals

  • Scott Detrow

Susan Phillips / StateImpactPA

A natural gas drill rig in Susquehanna County, PA


Pennsylvanians will have a lot more information about the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing, beginning next year.
That’s not due to a change in state fracking disclosure regulations, but rather a step being taken by drilling companies. Members of the Marcellus Shale Coalition will begin listing their drilling chemicals on FracFocus.org, beginning January 1. (A Tribune-Review article, quoted below, has the details.)
FracFocus is fast becoming a national clearinghouse for fracking information. A law passed in Texas earlier this year will use the Groundwater Protection Council-funded site to host well-specific fracking information.
Right now, Pennsylvania drillers are required to report a well’s fracking chemicals to the Department of Environmental Protection, but the information isn’t made public.
StateImpact compared Pennsylvania’s disclosure regulations to other states earlier this year, and found the Keystone State dead last, when it comes to information accessibility. If drillers post well-specific information on FracFocus, then the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s announcement is a step in the right direction.

More from the Tribune-Review story:

Most natural gas drillers operating in the Marcellus shale region have agreed to disclose voluntarily the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process that makes wells productive, their industry trade group said on Thursday.
A statewide environmental group said the initiative falls short.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition, a Cecil-based trade group of 200 natural gas companies, drillers and related businesses, issued a statement saying its members agreed to disclosed the contents of the chemicals in the fracking fluid used in each well on a national database, FracFocus.org.
“It was really a collaborative effort that had broad support and commitment from the companies and the staff” of the coalition, said spokesman Travis Windle.
Several states, including Pennsylvania, have the information available but do not disclose some of the chemicals that companies claim are trade secrets.
While some of its members, such as Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Range Resources Corp., had been disclosing the chemicals used in fracking fluid, the coalition will require that, as of Jan. 1, all its members do so, Windle said.
Most of the chemicals are included in household products stored under a kitchen sink, Windle noted.

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