A press release today from State Rep. Robert Hagan, D-Youngstown:
COLUMBUS – State Representative Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) today applauded the recent state directive requiring oil and gas companies to disclose a list of what toxic chemicals they use to local governments, first responders and residents. The disclosure requirements, while federally mandated since 1986, were subverted by the oil and gas industry through a corporate carve-out in state law passed in 2001. Rep. Hagan has attempted to rectify this issue with House Bill 596 last General Assembly and again this General Assembly with House Bill 42.
“I have repeatedly affirmed that the oil and gas industry’s disclosure of toxic chemicals is critical for first responders in the event of an emergency,” Rep. Hagan said. “Federal law is very clear that local communities should have this information. Additionally, it is now clear that the state’s attempt to re-write the rules for the oil and gas industry does not and cannot supersede federal law.”
Adopted by Congress in 1986, the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires that information about toxic chemicals stored in industrial sites be made available to local emergency responders. EPCRA requires industries to disclose this information to local emergency planning committees in each county, as well as local fire departments, so they are able to create accident response plans.
Under a 2001 Ohio state law, however, the oil and gas industry was permitted to only submit an annual production report to the Oil and Gas Division of the Department of Natural Resources. These reports clearly did not fulfill EPCRA requirements as they contained no details of the toxic chemicals local responders may encounter.
“While this new directive is a step in the right direction, the Ohio Revised Code still remains woefully out of line with federal chemical disclosure requirements,” Rep. Hagan said. “I congratulate state officials for agreeing with me that more chemical information should be in the hands of firefighters and other first responders, and I look forward to working with them to update Ohio’s laws.”
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.