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« Here They Go Again: Drill, Baby, Drill | Main | Anti-Environmental Fervor on Rise in State Houses »



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Its a disservice to indicate methane (as awful as it is) as the sole contaminator of drinking water.

Its critical to note the Safe Drinking Water Act loophole frees frackers from reporting specific toxic chemicals used in fracking.

Resultingly, its a bit difficult for researchers to determine the presense of a highly toxic chemical when their inclusion in the fracking process is unknown.

In Pennsylvania, the state Department of Environmental Protection has publicly released a list of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, including hydrochloric acid.

It is available here:

Good point Tom. After much pushing and prodding, PA's DEP was able to compile a list of chemicals used in fracking.

...except those used by Halliburton.

"But MSDSs exist only for substances that are known to the public and have been tested to determine their toxicity. If a company claims that a chemical or some other material is a trade secret, it can withhold the name and the "specific identification" of the chemical as long as the chemical's general effects are listed on the MSDS, according to an OSHA spokeswoman.

Halliburton tried to persuade the EPA to accept MSDSs in lieu of the more detailed list of ingredients the agency requested -- but the EPA said that information was insufficient."

"Scott Perry, director of Pennsylvania's Oil and Gas Bureau, said he doesn't know how many drilling chemicals don't have an MSDS or have an MSDS that contains only limited information. When asked how he would determine the number of chemicals that will remain undisclosed under the new regulations, he said he did not know.

Pennsylvania law also gives drillers another way to avoid disclosure: They can designate any information they provide to regulators as a trade secret, which means it would not be available to the public. Under the state's Right-to-Know Act, any information that a company says allows it to create "independent economic value" because it isn't generally known can be labeled a trade secret and made exempt from public disclosure requirements."

I did not know that, JG. Thanks very much for providing that information.

Those with money rule. Energy companies spend more money in Washington than any other lobby. No question they're getting their money's worth. For the little people like us, our only protection is filtering our drinking water one gallon at a time.

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