June 9th, 2011
From: Environmental Working Group
The California State Assembly has passed legislation sponsored by Environmental Working Group and Earthworks to require oil and natural gas drillers to make public a complete list of chemicals they use in oil and natural gas hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations. The fracking issue has raised alarms in communities nationwide because some chemicals injected into the earth to break up rock formations and free oil and gas are known human carcinogens such as benzene, xylene, toluene and diesel fuel.
The bill, known as AB 591, would require oil and gas companies to inform the state Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals they injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radiological components were injected and their fate. The state agency would be mandated to publish online the drillers’ chemical lists and locations of specific wells where the chemicals were used.
The bill now goes to the California State Senate, where a committee that considers water quality issues is expected to hear it before the end of June.
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November 25th, 2009
From the Star-Telegram:
State environmental regulators want natural gas companies to voluntarily emit less air pollution after tests showed high levels of a cancer-causing chemical near wells in the Barnett Shale gas field. On Nov. 13, regulators from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Barnett’s eight biggest operators discussed ways to cut benzene emissions, said Michael Honeycutt, chief of the commission’s toxicology section.
Air samples showed significant levels of benzene in several locations. One sample taken downwind from a tank seven miles west of DISH showed a level of 1,000 parts per billion, which is more than five times the commission’s short-term exposure limit of 180 parts per billion.
Right now, most gas sites are operating under permits that don’t set a level for benzene emissions. Honeycutt said the operators are being allowed to address the problem under a “find and fix” program — if they voluntarily reduce the emissions, they can avoid a penalty. The commission follows up by revising the permit to set a lower standard for benzene emissions. It could take the commission three to five years to write a rule limiting the amount of benzene released from natural gas sites, Honeycutt told the League of Neighborhoods meeting.
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Relevant Nexreg Compliance Links: CPSC compliance, OSHA MSDS authoring, MSDS authoring