Railroad Commissioners Adopt One of Nation's Most Comprehensive Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Requirements
AUSTIN –– Texas Railroad Commissioners today adopted one of the nation’s most comprehensive chemical disclosure rules for hydraulic fracturing fluids. The rule will require Texas oil and gas operators to disclose on a national public website chemical ingredients and water volumes used to hydraulically fracture wells in Texas.
The Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure rule will be required for wells that the Railroad Commission has issued an initial drilling permit on or after Feb. 1, 2012. Before the rule passed, Texas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were voluntarily entering chemical data into the public website FracFocus (fracfocus.org) for about half of all wells in Texas undergoing hydraulic fracturing.
Chairman Elizabeth Ames Jones said, “Once again the Railroad Commission is taking a lead in helping the public understand the safety of hydraulic fracturing with this rule’s adoption. In fact, with this new rule, Texans will know more about what is going in the ground for energy production than about the ingredients that go into their sodas.”
Commissioner David Porter said, “Hydraulic fracturing has been occurring safely in Texas for 60 years, and this new rule provides a balance between protecting legitimate business information and the public’s right to know.”
Commissioner Barry T. Smitherman said, “This rulemaking will increase transparency about the safety of the hydraulic fracturing process. I thank Rep. Keffer, Sen. Fraser, the Texas Oil and Gas Association, and all of the stakeholders who worked to make this law the new national benchmark for disclosure.”
A listing of chemical ingredients used to hydraulically fracture a well that has been permitted by the RRC on or after Feb. 1, 2012, must be uploaded to the public national chemical disclosure registry, FracFocus.org. A supplier, service company or operator is not required to disclose trade secret information unless the Attorney General or court determines the information is not entitled to trade secret protection.