Issue Date: September 20, 2010
EPA Seeks Data On Drilling Chemicals
EPA is asking drilling companies to voluntarily disclose the chemical composition of the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas extraction process. The data request comes as EPA prepares to launch a broad study to determine whether hydraulic fracturing is having an adverse impact on drinking water. The initial results of the study will be announced in late 2012. Hydraulic fracturing is the process of injecting water, sand, and chemical additives into a well to fracture the underground rock and let natural gas flow out. Industry officials insist the drilling chemicals are safe, but environmental groups claim they are contaminating drinking-water wells and other water supplies. Companies say they share information about the chemicals with state and local officials, but exact fracturing fluid formulas are kept confidential as trade secrets. EPA is also seeking data on the chemicals’ impact on human health and the environment and a list of locations where hydraulic fracturing has been conducted.
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