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Ohio Utica Shale

Eco-groups in Wyoming court to force chemical disclosure

By Bob Downing Published: January 22, 2013

From the eco-group Earthworks:

CASPER, WY – In an effort to help protect the public from exposure to toxic chemicals, the Powder River Basin Resource Council, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Earthworks and Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch) went to court today to ask a judge to require the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (WOGCC) to disclose information about chemicals used during the controversial oil and gas development process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
 
Under regulations approved in 2010, Wyoming became the first state in the nation to require well operators to disclose the identities of chemicals that are mixed with water and injected into the ground during fracking. But since the regulations were adopted, the Commission has approved some 50 secrecy requests, shielding identifying information about over 190 different chemicals, by Halliburton and other oil and gas service companies.
 
Attorneys with the public interest environmental law organization Earthjustice argued the case today in Natrona County District Court for the State of Wyoming, asking a judge to rule whether WOGCC acted illegally in granting the trade secrets requests and arguing that companies must reveal the identities of chemicals used during fracking.
 
The case could set a broad legal precedent – as the states of Texas, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Montana, and Michigan all have fracking chemical disclosure regulations similar to Wyoming’s on the books.
 
The following is a statement from the groups involved in the case:
“We went to court today because the public has a right to know what chemicals are being transported, stored, and injected underground during fracking. Some of these chemicals can be harmful enough to be associated with cancer, nerve damage, and other public health concerns. We appreciate Wyoming’s leadership in making more of this information available. But without a complete list of fracking chemicals, it’s much more difficult for residents to determine whether their drinking water has been contaminated by oil and gas development. We are arguing that protecting public health should be the state’s priority. We hope the court agrees.”
 
 
###
 
For a link to the lawsuit filed by groups, visit: http://earthjustice.org/documents/legal-document/pdf/wogcc-petition
For more information about the health effects associated with chemicals used in oil and gas development, visit: http://www.endocrinedisruption.com/chemicals.multistate.php

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

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Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

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National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

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Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.