Energy / Hydraulic Fracturing

DeWine wants tougher laws on ‘fracking’

Attorney general calls for bigger pollution fines, ‘full disclosure’ of chemicals used, more protection for landowners in lease deals

COLUMBUS —”Ohio already is among a handful of states, including Wyoming and Pennsylvania, that make hydraulic-fracturing contractors file documents showing the chemicals they use in their fracking fluids.

However, a review of documents posted on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ website shows that not every chemical is identified. Of the 84 fracturing products listed in November, 11 contained at least one ingredient that was kept secret by the companies as a ‘proprietary compound.’

Identified chemicals include napthalene, which destroys red blood cells, and ethylene glycol, which can damage the kidneys, nervous system, lungs and heart.

Stewart said companies should be allowed to keep some fracking ingredients confidential to hold an edge over their competitors.

‘You can’t destroy the competitiveness of these businesses,’ he said.

Oil and gas leases often come with offers of rich bonus payments that can exceed $3,500 an acre. Experts say landowners need to carefully read the fine print.

‘Deep Pockets,’ a Dispatch series on the fracking industry that was published in September, showed that leases can contain provisions that give drilling companies free access to water and the right to store gas and to build roads and pipelines across properties even if a well isn’t drilled.”

— David Eggert and Spencer Hunt, Columbus Dispatch

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