This is sort of an update from this morning. I had heard of this a while back. Amy Mall of the Natural Resources Defense Council tipped me off and I never got around to blogging it. It looks like a bill being proposed in Congress would make the disclosure of frac water components a matter of federal law under the Clean Water Act. A reporter from The Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, a paper that has done a pretty excellent job reporting on the goings-on in the Barnett Shale, has this story. Here's a clip.
And many of those chemicals [in frac water] — like sodium bicarbonate, or ordinary baking soda — are benign.
But others are potentially deadly, and disclosure requirements are lax, environmentalists say. What’s more, even the small percentage used in wells amounts to thousands of gallons of potential contaminants, environmentalists say. Once the chemicals are used, they must be disposed of.
A bill by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., would require companies to disclose the drilling chemicals they use and would subject them to the federal Clean Water Act.
The stakes are high because gas drilling is beginning to push into neighborhoods, near parks and next to water reservoirs in Tarrant County.
"The challenge all communities face is trying to figure out what’s going into their air and water, what’s going into their soil," said Jennifer Goldman, a researcher with the Oil and Gas Accountability Project.
Wouldn't it be nice if federal laws and regulations like the "Clean Water Act" actually helped protect our water? Man, I'm not going to miss the Bush administration...