Joint Release: EARTHWORKS | ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP
Sacramento, Calif. — The California State Assembly has passed legislation sponsored by Environmental Working Group and Earthworks to require oil and natural gas drillers to make public a complete list of chemicals they use in oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing ( fracking ) operations. The fracking issue has raised alarms in communities nationwide because some chemicals injected into the earth to break up rock formations and free oil and gas are known human carcinogens such as benzene, xylene, toluene and diesel fuel.
The bill, known as AB 591 and authored by Assembly member Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), now goes to the California State Senate, where a committee that considers water quality issues is expected to hear it before the end of June.
The bill would require oil and gas companies to inform the state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals they injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radiological components were injected and their fate. The state agency would be mandated to publish online the drillers’ chemical lists and locations of specific wells where the chemicals were used.
California is leading the way with a legislative roadmap for real reform in the way the the oil and gas industry must reveal what chemicals are used in fracking operations, said Bill Allayaud, Director of Government Affairs for EWG’s California office. This measure could become the first law in the country that won’t allow the natural gas industry to hide behind confidential business information claims as they do in other states like Wyoming and Texas. It would force companies to make public every chemical used in fracking operations in the state.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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I'm so sick of how backwards Texas is. California doesn't even have a massive fracturing problem and they are already proactively passing a FULL disclosure bill. Props for also requiring information on how much water is stolen and where it is stolen from.
Sometimes I think if Texas had more stunning natural beauty, particularly North Texas, people would actually give a shit when it is destroyed in the name of a corrupt industry.
"The state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, the agency that regulates the oil and gas industry, has worked against the legislation…they then claimed that making public the chemicals used at fracked wells in California would only disturb citizens." A pattern looks like it's emerging where the agencies that regulate O&G are corrupt and only interested in covering up the sins of O&G
What you said…
Apparently, Texas has one too now, which would be effective in July 2012. After reading about it, the bill has a lot of loopholes such as not stating certain chemicals that may be harmful to one's health since they can be considered as proprietary.