On February 1, 2012, the Houston Chronicle published an article regarding a new rule enacted in Texas requiring the state’s oil & gas drilling operators disclose the chemicals and the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing is a process wherein large amounts of water and chemicals are pressurized into rock, allowing for the release of natural gas. Environmental groups have expressed concern that this process, which uses an enormous amount of water, may be damaging to the already drought-plagued Texas region.
The new rule, which became effective on February 1, 2012, requires that Texas drilling operators disclose the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process on a nation-wide website, FracFocus.org. Approximately half of all Texas drilling operators voluntarily registered on the site before the new disclosure rule was enacted. Since November 2011, roughly 80 companies have signed up to participate on the disclosure website.
Although the new rule requires operators in Texas to disclose the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing, these companies are not required to report the source of the water. This is particularly worrisome to environmental groups in the state. The Texas Railroad Commissioner states that lawmakers may address adding disclosure of the water source in the future.
See the full Houston Chronicle article at: