RRC Holiday Closure

In observance of the Memorial Day holiday, the Railroad Commission of Texas will be closed on Monday, May 29. The agency will reopen for business on Tuesday, May 30.

National Groups to Coordinate Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Registry

10/20/2010

Austin, Texas – Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) Chairman Victor G. Carrillo announced today that the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) and the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) have initiated a joint project to protect ground water by implementing a web-based system to obtain, store and publish information concerning chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process, a critical process in the exploration of shale gas. Both IOGCC and GWPC will work with the U.S. Department of Energy to refine the state-based chemical disclosure system. Leslie Savage, RRC chief geologist, as a member of both the IOGCC and GWPC, will work on the project on behalf of the RRC.

Chairman Carrillo, Governor Rick Perry’s official representative to the IOGCC and a member of the IOGCC Steering Committee, stated that the purpose of the Chemical Registry for Hydraulic Fracturing, which is expected to take one year and approximately $3 million to complete, is to create and maintain a national chemical registry for hydraulic fracturing that is user friendly and available to the public, first responders and emergency personnel.

Carrillo stated that the voluntary national data system should more clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of state regulatory programs and states’ commitment to transparency. “Although hydraulic fracturing fluids are generally composed of water and sand with relatively small volumes of additives, disclosure of the chemicals used during the process will enhance public awareness and confidence. While some energy companies have voluntarily reported information regarding these chemicals on their websites, a more desirable solution is a centralized site where reliable and current information about individual wells can be easily accessed.” While reporting would be voluntary, most energy companies are expected to actively participate in the program.

Congressionally chartered in 1935, the IOGCC is the largest compact of states and represents the regulatory and policy interests of the nation’s petroleum producing states. The IOGCC represents the governors of 37 states in its mission is to champion the efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety, and the environment.

The GWPC is a national nonprofit association of state ground water and underground injection control agencies whose mission is to promote the protection and conservation of ground water resources for all beneficial uses, recognizing ground water as a critical component of the ecosystem." The Ground Water Protection Council provides a forum for stakeholder communication and research in order to improve governments’ role in the protection and conservation of ground water.

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A native of Abilene, Governor Rick Perry appointed Victor Carrillo to the Texas Railroad Commission in 2003. In 2004, Carrillo won his first statewide election garnering almost 3.9 million votes and making him the highest-ranking elected Hispanic official in Texas.  Carrillo, whose term expires in 2010, intends to run again.  A licensed attorney and geoscientist, Carrillo previously served on the Abilene City