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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Dangers of Fracking Wastewater Put Spotlight on 'Halliburton Loophole'

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023   

A law known as the "Halliburton Loophole" is under growing scrutiny. It exempts oil and gas companies from revealing the chemicals they use in the hydraulic fracking process.

The latest study finds between 2014 and 2021, companies used hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals - without any governmental oversight.

Another report published last year by scientists and medical organizations says living near fracking sites increases risks for cancer, respiratory diseases, heart problems, birth defects and more.

Leatra Harper, managing director of the Freshwater Accountability Project, explained that the loophole prevents communities from understanding potential harms.

"People need to know what the exposures could be," said Harper. "We need to know what the chemicals are to look for when we find water contamination. And we don't even know how to test for it, because we don't know what to test for."

The Independent Petroleum Association of America and other industry groups argue that fracking poses little to no risk of harmful health effects.

The group FracTracker estimates hydraulically fractured wells produce about 2.3% of the oil and gas output in Ohio.

Harper added that previously proposed federal legislation would have addressed the issue by requiring companies to reveal which chemicals they use in the fracking process.

"There's something called the FRAC Act that has just basically been mothballed," said Harper. "And we need to revive that and fix this problem that started at the federal level, that allowed this industry to take off."

As of 2022, hydraulic fracturing techniques have been used on an estimated 1.7 million wells across the U.S.




Disclosure: Fresh Water Accountability Project contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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