A bill that requires that companies disclose chemicals used in gas fracking in Ohio still allows some of the compounds to be kept secret. Drillers use the fracking technique — injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals underground — to fracture shale and free trapped natural gas and oil deposits.
The companies say the process is safe, reports the Columbus Dispatch
, but environmentalists complain the process poses a pollution threat.
The Senate bill, backed by Gov. John Kasich, will require that companies report most fracking compounds to the state, unless they involve chemicals deemed proprietary or a trade secret. In that case, the substances would only be identified by their chemical class.
During emergency situations, medical personnel, firefighters, and other first responders could find out exactly what chemicals were used.
Trent Dougherty, a lawyer with the advocacy group Ohio Environmental Council, said the bill will not inform the public what is being used in fracking operations.
“It will only spark more debate and more discussion about what is a trade secret and what really needs to be held in confidence,” he said. “Folks in these communities need to know what’s going on beneath their feet.”
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