Fracking Ingredient "Secrets" to Be Reviewed
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
CASPER, Wyo. - A recent lawsuit settlement should make gray areas related to public disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing more transparent in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission will adopt new policies to review industry requests to keep fracking chemicals secret, a change approved by all parties, including Halliburton Energy Services. Earthjustice attorney Katherine O'Brien says the commission needed clear guidelines when faced with industry claims chemicals were "trade secrets," even if public health could be at risk.
"There really were no standards the commission was supposed to apply to separate the wheat from the chaff," says O'Brien. "It's our hope, going forward, the state has the tools they need to protect the public's fundamental right to know."
A lawsuit was filed challenging state regulators' decisions to shield fracking chemicals from public view, even though O'Brien says there is ample evidence many fracking chemicals can cause serious health problems and contaminate soil and water.
O'Brien says there are instances when companies should be able to keep ingredients secret, such as the invention of a new chemical or the use of a chemical in a new way. But she says public health must be a priority, and Wyomingites who live near a fracking site have a right to know about the risks associated with the process.
"It's really important they have the ability to identify the chemicals, or at least the bulk of the chemicals that are being used in particular wells," she says. "They can do groundwater testing and protect their health and protect their property."
Earthjustice represented the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Earthworks, and the Center for Effective Government.
get more stories like this via email
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansans ages 16 to 26 who are or have been in the foster-care system now are eligible for one-time payments of at least $750…
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Jessica Molina of Perrysburg says she was inspired as a child by the spirit of activism, as she watched her parents participate in …
HARRISBURG, Pa. - U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants to bring back the Civilian Conservation Corps, a public-works program from the 1930s that created …
Health and Wellness
CHICAGO - Overdose deaths in Illinois rose by more than a quarter from 2019 to 2020, and medical experts are warning that pills not prescribed by a …
Health and Wellness
MINNEAPOLIS - As COVID cases trend upward again, public-health experts are setting the record straight on certain storylines about new infections…
APPLETON, Wis. - The pandemic paused many facets of life, and a new report says wellness checkups for children were among them. With school resuming …
SALEM, Ore. - Young people of color are locked up at disproportionately high rates compared with their white peers, despite recent signs the gap is …
HELENA, Mont. - A Montana campaign is renewing its efforts to help identify developmental delays in young children. The Centers for Disease Control …