Wyoming oil and gas regulators approve new rules for frack fluid disclosure

The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission today unanimously approved new hydraulic fracturing rules that require operators to disclose so-called “fracking” fluids injected into natural gas wells.

According to the Casper Star-Tribune, measures were introduced to require operators to disclose the information to the state but prohibit the state from disclosing the proprietary information to the public. There’s a push at the federal level for regulation of the practice under the Safe Drinking Water Act and broader public disclosure.

There’s growing concern the practice may lead to more and more cases of groundwater contamination with potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Environmental groups praised the 5-0 Wyoming vote, which was seen by observers as a way to forestall federal oversight.

“This ruling was the right thing to do. One look at the Gulf of Mexico is proof that things don’t always turn out the way drilling companies expect,” Dan Heilig, Wyoming staff attorney for Western Resource Advocates, said in a release. “People should be able to find out what chemicals they may have come in contact with, and emergency room doctors need this information in order to treat their patients and protect their staff.”

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