Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Texas Railroad Commission Punts on Fracking Disclosure Rules

Photo courtesy of the RRC

Elizabeth Ames Jones, Chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas

New rules with a big impact for many Texans came up at a meeting of the Railroad Commission of Texas today. They would require oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals they use when “fracking.”

Residents near some drilling sites in Fort Worth are concerned about the fracking fluids possibly contaminating their water supply. A recent study by the University of Texas found no direct link between the practice and contaminated water underground.

But the study did find that surface spills related to drilling and fracking had an effect: “many allegations of groundwater contamination appear to be related to above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater produced from shale gas drilling, rather than from hydraulic fracturing itself,” the study’s preliminary findings say.

The commission put off making a decision about the new disclosure rules today. A spokesperson said that the staff found an error in the rules they were going to give the commissioners, and didn’t have time to get a correct version ready. The rules were proposed by the state legislature earlier this year and signed into law by Governor Rick Perry this summer.

Our sister site, StateImpact Pennsylvania, has this handy guide to how the fracking chemical disclosure rules vary state-to-state.


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