May 4, 2011 —
Report reveals companies unable to identify some chemicals used in fracking
Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman, Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Edward J. Markey and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Ranking Member Diana DeGette have released a report that summarizes the types, volumes and chemical contents of the hydraulic fracturing products used by the 14 leading oil and gas service companies.
The report contains the first comprehensive national inventory of chemicals used by hydraulic fracturing companies during the drilling process. Key findings are: The companies used more than 780 million gallons of hydraulic fracturing products, with 2,500 products containing 750 different chemicals and other components. Between 2005 and 2009, the companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) for their risks to human health, or listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The BTEX compounds – benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylbenzene – are SDWA contaminants and hazardous air pollutants. Benzene also is a known human carcinogen. The hydraulic fracturing companies injected 11.4 million gallons of products containing at least one BTEX chemical over the five-year period. Methanol was the most widely used chemical between 2005 and 2009. The substance is a hazardous air pollutant and is on the candidate list for potential regulation under SDWA. Isopropyl alcohol, 2-butoxyethanol, and ethylene glycol were the other most widely used chemicals. The companies used 94 million gallons of 279 products that contained at least one chemical or component that the manufacturers deemed proprietary or a trade secret. In many instances, the companies were unable to identify these “proprietary” chemicals. See the report at http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/... 
DCNR releases new guidelines for gas development on State Forest Lands
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has released new guidelines on the management of oil and gas operations on State Forest Lands as part of a presentation before the Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission. The document starts with an overall set of principles DCNR will use in management operations. It states that the Bureau of Forestry will promote forest sustainability for managing the social and ecological impacts of oil and gas development according to lease agreements and the rights afforded to private owners of subsurface oil and gas interests. The guidelines cover general topics like public safety, ecosystem and multiple-resource management and record-keeping and right-to-know issues. Best management practices covering seismic surveys, well pad sites, water acquisition, transport and storage, water disposal, roads, pipelines, compressor stations vegetation management, invasive plants, restoration and recreation are addressed. The document also spells out the review and approval process, sets guidelines for routine field inspections and reporting and responding to emergency and pollution incidents. A copy of the document is available at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/ucmprd1/groups/public/documents/document/dcn... 
Texas Company fined for polluting creeks In Clearfield County
EOG Resources, Inc. has paid a total of $208,625 in three settlements in lieu of fines and civil damages to the PA Fish and Boat Commission as a result of the company’s pollution of Clearfield County’s Alex Branch and Little Laurel Run in 2009 and 2010. EOG agreed to pay the settlements following investigations by PFBC waterways conservation officers and the Department of Environmental Protection which determined that the substances the company released were deleterious, destructive or poisonous to fish. The settlements involved three separate pollution incidents. The PFBC recently introduced a new toll-free hotline for the public to report suspected pollution incidents or fish kills (855/FISH-KIL).