Environmental Protection

Texas House Proposes Fracking Fluid Disclosure Bill

By knowing what chemicals are being used, the government can determine their impact on the environment and human health.

Texas House Bill 3328, sponsored by Rep. Jim Keffer (R-Eastland), would require disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids used in natural gas production. The Texas League of Conservation Voters (TLCV) say this is proof positive that the public, environmental groups, and the state’s energy industry can work together to ensure the health and safety of Texans.

“Rep. Keffer’s bill is a positive step forward for Texas,” said David Weinberg, executive director of the Texas League. “Texans expect transparency, especially when it comes to their public health and safety. HB 3328 provides necessary disclosure to provide scientists, researchers, and the public with information they need to determine the impact of these chemicals on human health, while being mindful of a business’ confidential proprietary interests.”

HB 3328 calls for the disclosure of the composition of the hydraulic fracturing fluids and additives used by natural gas service companies and operators while ensuring reasonable trade secret protection for companies.

“A number of natural gas service companies are leaders in their approach to disclosure. TLCV obviously hopes more companies would voluntarily disclose the chemical composition of their fracturing fluids,” said Weinberg. “With HB 3328, there are no longer any excuses for operating in the shadows when it comes to matters that potentially impact the public’s health and safety.”

HB 3328 was filed on March 11. Since its filing, Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Lake Dallas), Rep. Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth), Rep. Tan Parker (R-Flower Mound) and Rep. Mark Strama (D-Austin) have signed on as co-authors.

The Environmental Defense Fund's Scott Anderson, senior policy adviser, said, "Industry has opposed mandatory disclosure for far too long. EDF supports full disclosure of all chemicals used in natural gas hydraulic fracturing and believes that Chairman Keffer's HB3328 is truly a win-win for industry, environmental groups, legislators, and the public at large. Disclosure of the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing is key to gaining an understanding of the impact this process has on the environment and human health. Progressive natural gas developers are already proving that it is possible to abide by disclosure and other responsible drilling practices and still maintain a profitable and sustainable business."

Source: Texas League of Conservation Voters, EDF

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