For many years, people have been concerned about the chemical makeup of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing. Are they safe? Can they hurt me or my family? Will they damage the environment? What are the long term effects of these chemicals? It’s been a year since the state of Texas took steps to force the oil and gas industry to disclose the mix of water and chemicals it uses for hydraulic fracturing to the public, do they can be dealt with.
Unfortunately, these producers have found a loophole in the disclosure laws that allows the companies engaging in fracking to withhold the chemical mix by labeling them as “trade secrets.” Because of this, it’s still not possible to know the exact chemicals that are being pumped several thousand feet underground. According to data collected by the Houston-based Pivot Upstream Group, in 10,120 out of 12,410 instances of hydraulic fracturing statewide between April 2011 and December 2012, companies attempted to avoid having to report the chemicals in their fracking mix, used terms such as “secret,” “proprietary,” or “confidential.”
The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas field is one of the hottest oil and gas plays in the nation, and the companies operating there are also trying to skirt the law and avoid telling state and local officials what they’re using. They invoked the trade secret exemption 2,297 times out of 3,100 fracturing events.
The use of this loophole means that many communities and individuals, like those working and living in and around the Eagle Ford Shale Formation, will continue to be kept in the dark about the dangers of what is being pumped into the ground, kept in waste pits, and trucked down their roads. If you have been exposed to fracking fluids and would like to speak to a lawyer about your legal options, call the Texas Oil & Gas Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.