By TONI ELLINGTON
On October 1, 2014, oilfield services company Baker Hughes announced that it would voluntarily begin disclosing chemicals used in its hydraulic fracturing operations. The company announced that it had devised a way to disclose the chemicals without compromising company trade secrets.
The plan is to disclose a complete list of the chemical constituents the company uses in fracking, without disclosing the specific chemical formulas.
Most states have laws which allow oil and gas companies to withhold the chemical constituents used in fracking as trade secrets or proprietary information. In response to public pressure and criticism, some companies have opted for partial disclosures. Some states, such as Wyoming and Colorado, have passed laws on disclosure. Other states are considering similar laws.
In May 2014, the EPA issued an announcement seeking comments on what information could be disclosed related to hydraulic fracturing and the chemicals used in the process. The public comment period was extended to September 18, 2014. See 79 FR 28664 and 79 FR 40703. A coalition of environmental and community groups filed a petition with the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act in 2011 asking the EPA to regulate the chemicals used in fracking.
For more information, contact Toni Ellington at (504) 599-8500.