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Washington, D.C.— Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) has released a report showing that in the 16 leading oil- and gas-producing states, chemical manufacturers are generally not required to disclose what fracking chemicals they use. This year, Colorado became the first state to explicitly require public disclosure of chemicals used in oil and gas wells by chemical manufacturers, a standard that will take effect in 2023.
Some fracking chemicals pose significant threats to human health, drinking water, and animals in the communities surrounding fracking sites. The report examines fracking chemical disclosure standards in Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
In some states, chemical manufacturers are explicitly exempted from disclosure requirements. In others, state rules exempt the manufacturers implicitly by requiring fracking chemical disclosure only from companies further down the supply chain, such as well owners or operators. Evidence shows that these downstream companies are often not given full chemical information by the chemical manufacturers. In these cases, they would not be able to comply with disclosure requirements, thwarting rules for fracking chemical disclosure.
PSR also released a two-page fact sheet summarizing the essential elements of oil and gas chemical disclosure, including a recommendation that chemical manufacturers be required to release the identities of the chemicals used in the products they produce.
“We want the public to know the identity of all oil and gas chemicals being released into the environment so their effects can be studied and so the government and individuals can protect against possible harm,” stated Dusty Horwitt, J.D., lead author of the report.
Environment & Health Director at PSR, Barbara Gottlieb, added, “Many fracking chemicals jeopardize health, making it imperative that manufacturers fully disclose the chemicals they may be exposing us to.”
Mr. Horwitt is author of several white papers on fracking chemicals as well as a chapter on fracking chemical disclosure for a textbook published by Elsevier. The 44-page report is co-authored by Meilen Teklemichael, J.D. It is based on legal and scientific sources and is thoroughly footnoted.