Fracking chemicals shouldn’t be kept secret

Fracking chemicals shouldn’t be kept secret by Chuck Wyrostok, April 4, 2013, The Charleston Gazette
When does a trade secret become dangerous to your health? One answer: when it is secret drilling chemicals spilling onto well sites, roads and waterways and endangering you by crippling your doctor’s ability to treat you. The original intent of West Virginia’s Marcellus Act of 2011 had been to require drilling companies to disclose to state regulators all the ingredients in hydraulic fracturing chemicals. The goal was to help the regulators track the source of any groundwater contamination that might occur at or near a drilling site. But one huge out-of-state corporation has convinced our Department of Environmental Protection and our legislators that’s it’s OK to let companies keep toxic, carcinogenic hydraulic fracturing fluid chemicals a secret. Benzene, sodium hydroxide, ethylene glycol, hydrochloric acid, glutaraldehyde, acetaldehyde, polyacrylamide, and hundreds more. Not to worry. Drilling companies always say their secret chemicals are safe. But keeping it secret makes it impossible for anyone else to check.

Clean water, good medical treatment. Basic human rights? Maybe. Maybe not. After all, big corporate needs have pretty much gotten the nod in West Virginia. Nothing new. But my eighth grade civics class taught me that elected representatives, since they are “hired” by us to represent our interests, would protect us from corporations that threaten us with this type of secrecy. What does it say about us if we let our legislators put us in danger? What does it say about them if they go ahead and do it? It seems people need to force government to protect them. Otherwise, people will not be protected. The Legislature must guarantee the right of citizens to know about chemicals to which they are exposed. [Emphasis added]

This entry was posted in Global Frac News. Bookmark the permalink.