Energy / Hydraulic Fracturing / Right-to-Know

What chemicals are used in fracking? Industry discloses less and less

Companies that report their hydraulic fracturing chemicals to FracFocus have become less forthcoming since 2013, finds a study of 96,000 disclosures

ODNR has acknowledged a link between drilling-related activity and small earthquakes that occurred last month near Youngstown.

BROOKLYN, NY — “Since 2013, energy companies that report their hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the FracFocus website have become less forthcoming, increasingly citing the use of proprietary compounds to limit disclosure, according to a new study from the journal Energy Policy.

The paper, written by two Harvard University researchers, is the most comprehensive analysis of FracFocus to date. They examined more than 96,000 disclosure forms filed between March 2011 and April 2015, highlighting trends and offering suggestions to improve the site’s accuracy and completeness.

FracFocus is the nation’s largest dataset on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. It was launched in 2011 as a voluntary tool for oil and gas operators, and later adopted by individual states to fulfill their chemical disclosure regulations. More than 20 states currently require companies to report the fracking compounds they use, through FracFocus.

The secrecy surrounding fracking chemicals, and the proprietary mixtures used to create special fracking “products,” have long been at the forefront of the debate over fracking’s public health impacts.

— Lisa Song, InsideClimate News

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