Texas Forces Disclosure of Fracking Water Use
Friday, February 03, 2012
Texas has become the latest state to require companies to disclose the types of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).
Adopted by the state legislature last year, the new rule has been heralded by environmentalists and industry as an important step in transparency for the controversial drilling method.
In addition to disclosing the name of each chemical ingredient applied during fracking, the regulation calls for the information to be posted on a national website, FracFocus.
Four other states—Wyoming, Louisiana, Montana and Colorado—have also adopted chemical-fracking disclosure rules.
However, the Texas law, which took effect February 1, also requires companies involved in fracking to disclose how much water they are using. In a state that has been prone to drought, it is estimated that a fracking well can use up to 6 million gallons of water in a week.
Water used in irrigation remains in the ecosystem, but water used in hydraulic fracturing, because it is mixed with chemicals, is buried in disposal wells below the water table and permanently removed from reuse.
Other states considering the adoption of their own set of rules include Alaska, West Virginia and Oklahoma.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Fracturing Site To Detail What's in the Water (by Emily Pickrell, Houston Chronicle)
Unlocking the Secrets Behind Hydraulic Fracturing (by Kate Galbraith, New York Times)
Fracking Contamination Report Kept Hidden for 24 Years (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Oil and Gas Companies on Defense over Fracking (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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