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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: May 3, 2021 01:48 PM
From: Senator Katie J. Muth
To: All Senate members
Subject: Disclosure Requirements of Fracking Chemicals
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that would require the disclosure of all chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process for the extraction of natural gas in Pennsylvania.  As highlighted in the Attorney General’s recent grand jury report, the inability to access this information puts community health at risk.

Chemical compounds used in fracking operations have limited disclosure requirements under Act 13. However, the full picture of the chemicals used is often hidden from view due to provisions that exempt access to chemical information deemed to be “confidential proprietary information” or “trade secrets.” Fracking companies have argued full disclosure would undermine their proprietary advantages and stifle the competitive nature of their operations. 

A 2018 report by Partnership for Policy Integrity (PFPI) entitled KeyStone Secrets, found that between 2013 and 2017, companies in Pennsylvania injected secret fracking chemicals 13,632 times into a total of 2,515 wells.  

As we have seen in the years since fracking began in Pennsylvania, the use of hazardous chemicals has led to public health issues. The current law makes it difficult to know what specific chemical exposures have occurred within communities where fracking operations exist. We must amend Act 13 to bolster the reporting requirements of oil and gas operators and provide much-needed transparency to healthcare providers, emergency responders, and the public in assessing the potential public health implications of exposure to fracking chemicals.

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