The Environmental Protection Agency took its first step towards demanding companies disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas production, which could be a launching pad for regulating the fracking industry as a whole.
The EPA released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR or prerule) on Friday to gather public comment on “what information could be reported and disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemicals and mixtures and the approaches for obtaining this information, including non-regulatory approaches,” the agency said in a statement.
The prerule is in response to a citizen petition by Earthjustice, a legal non-profit focusing on the environment, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Earthjustice, along with 114 other groups, petitioned the EPA in August 2011 to require “toxicity testing of chemicals and mixtures used in oil and gas exploration and production; reporting to EPA, among other things, the identity of those chemicals and mixtures; and submitting to EPA health and safety studies on the chemicals and mixtures,” the EPA said in its ANPR.
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