With the passage of Rep. Jim Keffer's House Bill 3328 (82nd Session of the Texas Legislature), Texas will become the first state in the country to require natural gas operators to publicly disclose the chemicals they use in a process known as hydraulic fracturing.
The bill requires full, public disclosure of the chemical composition of hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis, and seeks to establish a clear model for other states to follow. The bill also protects confidential business information while still disclosing the information needed for research, regulatory investigations, and medical treatment.
“My hope is that this bill takes some of the mystery out of the fracturing process,” said Rep. Jim Keffer. “The oil and gas industry is vital to our economy, and the use of this technology is an important tool to increase domestic energy production. I believe the industry can coexist with the people of Texas, and this bill strikes a balance between creating a sustainable market for business and ensuring the health and safety of the public.”
Upon the adoption of rules by the Texas Railroad Commission, an operator with a well that has undergone a hydraulic fracturing treatment will use the website www.fracfocus.org to disclose chemical ingredients of hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis. The registry is a joint project of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and was designed for operators to report chemical ingredients listed by the federal Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Under HB 3328, all chemicals intentionally used in the fracturing process (whether listed by MSDS or not) must be reported and publicly disclosed.
“Texas is truly a leader in the oil & gas industry,” stated Rep. Keffer. “This is an opportunity for us to lead the nation, and potentially the world, in sensible legislation that benefits its citizens.”
The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature before finally becoming law.