Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ark. to require disclosure of fracking chemicals

In Arkansas, the Oil and Gas Commission has decided to require companies drilling in the Fayetteville Shale to disclose the chemicals they are using when fracking for natural gas, reports Kelly MacNeil for KUAR. The agency is requiring that companies disclose chemicals they plan to use and list the names of additives actually in use.

The state wants "to ensure they know what those chemicals are, so if there is a potential contamination in that particular water well, they’d be able to know what the chemicals are and be able to test for that particular chemical," said Oil and Gas director Larry Bengal. Arkansas is one of the first states to require drilling companies to disclose what chemicals they are using. The additives will be posted on the commission's Web site on a well-by-well basis. (Read more)

Alison Sider reports for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the Fayetteville Shale formation, which runs from Northwest Arkansas to the Mississippi River, has been actively drilled for the past six years. "It seems like Arkansas is moving in the direction where everybody ultimately will go," said Amy Mall, a senior policy analyst with the National Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental advocacy group.

The most recent version of the rule requires a more complete listing of the chemicals than the previous rule. Bengal said the newer rule is intended to report 100 percent of the chemicals used for drilling. In order to protect the proprietary nature of the fluids, Sider reports, companies will be able to ask that some chemical names be withheld as trade secrets, if the director approves the exemption. In this case, chemical family names will be released instead. (Read more, subscription required)

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