Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Use of Secret Chemicals Runs Rampant in Fracking Industry, New Analysis Shows

Energy

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Matthew McFeeley

A recent investigation by EnergyWire found that when companies provide information on the chemicals they use to frack wells, most of the time they keep at least one chemical secret. Sixty-five percent of disclosures made by oil and gas companies leave out information about one or more fracking chemicals that the company claims to be confidential, according to the EnergyWire article. 

Many of the chemicals that fracking companies admit to using are toxic, carcinogenic, combustible or all of the above. But those are just the chemicals we know about. Unfortunately, we currently have no way of knowing the risks posed by the chemicals they are keeping to themselves. The public deserves to know about the chemicals that are being trucked through their neighborhoods, stored near their homes and schools and injected at high pressure near their drinking water sources. But unfortunately, due to the Halliburton Loophole—a Bush/Cheney Energy bill that exempts natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act—companies are exempt from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.

Keep in mind that the article only looks at the wells where the companies have disclosed chemicals in the first place. There are many more wells where we know nothing about what’s being used. In some states, disclosure is entirely voluntary and it is left to companies to decide whether to disclose any of the chemicals they use. Fourteen states require at least some disclosure of fracking chemicals. But an NRDC analysis released in July found that, while there was fracking in at least 29 states, only two states require companies to provide factual justification to keep a chemical secret (see map below).  Most states leave it up to the company to decide if a chemical should be kept confidential. That’s a loophole big enough to drive a truck through—a truck full of fracking chemicals.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Residents plant mangroves on the coast of West Aceh District in Indonesia on Feb. 21, 2020. Mangroves play a crucial role in stabilizing the coastline, providing protection from storms, waves and tidal erosion. Dekyon Eon / Opn Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mangroves play a vital role in capturing carbon from the atmosphere. Mangrove forests are tremendous assets in the fight to stem the climate crisis. They store more carbon than a rainforest of the same size.

Read More Show Less
UN World Oceans Day is usually an invite-only affair at the UN headquarters in New York, but this year anyone can join in by following the live stream on the UNWOD website from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. https://unworldoceansday.org/

Monday is World Oceans Day, but how can you celebrate our blue planet while social distancing?

Read More Show Less
Cryptococcus yeasts (pictured), including ones that are hybrids, can cause life-threatening infections in primarily immunocompromised people. KATERYNA KON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

By Jacob L. Steenwyk and Antonis Rokas

From the mythical minotaur to the mule, creatures created from merging two or more distinct organisms – hybrids – have played defining roles in human history and culture. However, not all hybrids are as fantastic as the minotaur or as dependable as the mule; in fact, some of them cause human diseases.

Read More Show Less
National Trails Day 2020 is now titled In Solidarity, AHS Suspends Promotion of National Trails Day 2020. The American Hiking Society is seeking to amplify Black voices in the outdoor community and advocate for equal access to the outdoors. Klaus Vedfelt / DigitalVision / Getty Images

This Saturday, June 6, marks National Trails Day, an annual celebration of the remarkable recreational, scenic and hiking trails that crisscross parks nationwide. The event, which started in 1993, honors the National Trail System and calls for volunteers to help with trail maintenance in parks across the country.

Read More Show Less
Indigenous people from the Parque das Tribos community mourn the death of Chief Messias of the Kokama tribe from Covid-19, in Manaus, Brazil, on May 14, 2020. MICHAEL DANTAS / AFP / Getty Images

By John Letzing

This past Wednesday, when some previously hard-hit countries were able to register daily COVID-19 infections in the single digits, the Navajo Nation – a 71,000 square-kilometer (27,000-square-mile) expanse of the western US – reported 54 new cases of what's referred to locally as "Dikos Ntsaaígíí-19."

Read More Show Less
World Environment Day was put into motion almost fifty years ago by the United Nations as a response to a multitude of environmental threats. RicardoImagen / Getty Images

It's a different kind of World Environment Day this year. In prior years, it might have been enough to plant a tree, spend some extra time in the garden, or teach kids the importance of recycling. This year we have heavier tasks at hand. It's been months since we've been able to spend sufficient time outside, and as we lustfully watch the beauty of a new spring through our kitchen's glass windows, we have to decide how we'll interact with the natural world on our release, and how we can prevent, or be equipped to handle, future threats against our wellbeing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Experts are worried that COVID-19, a primarily respiratory and airway disease, could have permanent effects on lungs, inhibiting the ability for divers to continue diving. Tiffany Duong / Ocean Rebels

Scuba divers around the world are holding their metaphorical breath to see if a coronavirus infection affects the ability to dive.

Read More Show Less