Environmentalists have long contended that the natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — poses a danger to drinking water supplies for millions of Americans.
Alarming reports of water contamination in states where such drilling is common, including Colorado, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, have exacerbated their fears.
Environmentalists believe disclosure rules will help them prove that their long-held claims about the inherent dangers of fracking are true. If testing finds an unusual chemical in a private water well, for example, it is far easier to make a connection to a nearby drilling operation that uses the same chemical.
Gas firms, despite their concerns over revealing proprietary chemical formulas to government regulators, acknowledge that there is a “fear of the unknown” when it comes to fracking, and they have come under increasing pressure to be more forthcoming about their operations. Many, but not all, now view disclosure as a way to build public trust, and to prove what numerous state and federal studies have already found: that fracking isn’t responsible for water contamination.
Arkansas Rule B-19
By Robert Finne on Dec 17, 2010 11:03:56 AM
The new Arkansas rule, like the Wyoming rule, is a gift to drillers from state regulators. It allows drillers to publicly say they are disclosing while they have a gaping loophole that allows them to arbitrarily decide what to disclose.
What this means is a driller can pick chemicals in his mix and declare them "trade secret" at which point he can say its a "Biocide" without actually revealing which biocide it is. There are hundreds if not thousands of chemicals in the biocide family.
Some are harmless and some are known carcinogens. The reason these companies say they need to maintain "trade secrets" is so that other companies don't get their formulas but their logic is flawed.
Who extracts the gas depends on who has the lease for the minerals. It's not as if someone is going too get their gas if they have their formula. Thats pretty simple.
The act of declaring "trade secret" only prevents someone from physically stealing a formula through industrial espionage. If a company reverse engineers or discovers by trial and error they are free to use it. Only a patent would prevent a competitor from duplicating a formula.
The ONLY reason to hide behind "trade secret" is to prevent the information of what they are using from becoming public knowledge.