Seventeen environmental organizations on Wednesday will petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to include natural gas and oil drillers in the federal Toxic Release Inventory.
That effort is being spearheaded by the Environmental Integrity Project, a national eco-group.
TRI reporting is already required of most other energy industries including coal and electric utilities.
The groups say the loophole for the oil and gas extraction industries makes no sense, given the huge amounts of toxic chemicals involved that have only increased with the rapid rise of fracking..
Since oil and gas facilities are currently not required to report such data, the full scope of environmental and public health risks to citizens and communities is not known. The toxics-related risks include air pollution, drinking water contamination, and discharges to rivers and streams.
The groups have scheduled a Wednesday press conference on the petition effort.
The TRI is an EPA-maintained database which contains information on the disposal and other releases of over 650 toxic chemicals from thousands of facilities nationwide.
One of the primary purposes of TRI data is to inform citizens, communities, and lawmakers of potentially hazardous or toxic releases of chemicals in their area. This data allows communities to plan for their futures, lawmakers to assess the effectiveness of and need for environmental controls, and the facilities themselves to review and often voluntarily reduce their toxic releases.
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.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
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.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.