Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA, joined by ten Democratic Senators, reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, which would increase environmental protections for communities where natural gas drilling takes place. Specifically the bill would require drillers to disclose the chemicals that go into the ground during the hydraulic fracturing process and close a 2005 loophole that prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from conducting rigorous oversight of hydraulic fracturing which occurs during natural gas drilling.
“The Pennsylvania constitution calls on us to protect our environment,” said Senator Casey. “It’s critical that, even as Pennsylvania communities large and small depend on the power and the income from hydraulic fracturing, that they do so in a manner that is transparent and in full view of the public. This legislation is vital step in ensuring that environmental safety of Pennsylvania communities.”
The FRAC Act will require that the natural gas industry provide complete disclosure of the chemical composition of hydraulic fracturing materials prior to and after hydraulic fracturing. This information will then be made public on a website. Disclosure will ensure that if drinking water supplies, surface waters, or human health are compromised, the public and first responders will be properly informed. Further, the FRAC Act will require that hydraulic fracturing be once again included under the Safe Drinking Water Act, simply ensuring that a consistent set of requirements will be applied to the development of our resources.
The legislation’s original cosponsors are, Senators: Whitehouse (D-RI), Hirono (D-HI), Franken (D-MN), Schumer (D-NY), Menendez (D-NJ), Reed (D-RI), Merkley (D-OR), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA) and Van Hollen (D-MD)