Thursday, June 23, 2011

PA bill requires disclosure of chemicals in fracking fluid

A Philadelphia Democrat has introduced legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would require natural gas drilling companies to disclose to state environmental regulators all chemicals used in the hydrofracturing (fracking) process.

The bill, HB 1680 , introduced on June 19 by Rep. Kenyatta Johnson, requires the disclosure to the state Department of Environmental Protection the names of chemicals (but not the proprietary chemical formulas) used in the fracking process. 

The legislation requires the DEP to make the information available to the public on its website.

Disclosure of chemical formulas in cases of health emergencies

The bill also would require the disclosure of "proprietary chemical formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical used in hydraulic fracturing: "in the event that the DEP or an appropriate health care provider determines that a medical emergency exists and such disclosure is necessary for emergency or first aid treatment." 

In a news release, Johnson said that hundreds of chemicals are used during this fracking process, "many of which can be harmful to people if they are absorbed into the ground and eventually into our water supply."

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