Report: over half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling

Drillers withheld information on at least one chemical in some 2,500 wells, citing trade secrets

Energy companies in Pennsylvania declined to identify potentially harmful chemicals used for drilling and fracking for natural gas in more than half the wells developed between 2013 and 2017, according to a report released on Tuesday.

The report from the Partnership for Policy Integrity, a Massachusetts nonprofit that does research and advocacy on energy policy, says companies withheld information about at least one chemical in 55 percent of wells drilled between 2013 and 2017.

The report’s author, Dusty Horwitt, acknowledged that the health effects of so-called secret chemicals can’t be known if their identities are not disclosed, but argued that the public has a right to know what the chemicals are and whether they are harmful to human health.

Of 153 new chemicals proposed between 1999 and 2014, EPA had health concerns such as lung and skin irritation and neurotoxicity about 109 of them, but allowed 62 to be used in oil and gas wells, Horwitt said.

Of the 62, manufacturers withheld the identities of 41 when reporting them to FracFocus, a national database of fracking chemicals, Horwitt said.

“We cannot be sure of […]

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Report: over half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling
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Report: over half PA gas wells used ‘secret’ chemicals for fracking or drilling
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Trade secrets: health effects of fracking chemicals can't be known if they are secret. Do we have a right to know the chemicals and if they are harmful?
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State Impact Pennsylvania (NPR)
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