Disclosure Sought On Drilling Chemicals | January 24, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 4 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 4 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 24, 2011

Disclosure Sought On Drilling Chemicals

Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: fracturing, gas, contamination

Democrats in the House of Representatives are supporting the Department of the Interior’s plan to require energy companies to publicly identify the chemicals they use in drilling operations on federal lands. “The public has a right to know what toxins might be going into the ground near their communities, and what might be leaking into their drinking water,” says a letter sent to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and 45 of his Democrat colleagues. A drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing involves injecting underground a mix of water, sand, and chemical additives to break apart rock formations, allowing trapped oil and natural gas to flow. The technique has led to a boom in the development of gas from shale rock in a number of states, but it has also raised concerns about groundwater contamination. Industry officials maintain that the practice is safe. In November 2010, Salazar announced that DOI is developing a policy regarding hydraulic fracturing on public lands that will include chemical disclosure requirements. Currently, the practice is regulated at the state level only.

 
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