A year ago this week the FracFocus.org online chemical disclosure registry was created, and what a year it has been: 130 companies logging in the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing of more than 15,000 wells. More than that, the site is information rich on fracking, groundwater protection, state regulatory efforts and more.
The registry was developed by the Groundwater Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Most importantly, it has been embraced by the oil and natural gas industry as a useful response to legitimate questions about the pressurized fluids – 99.5 percent water and sand, 0.5 percent chemicals – used to fracture subterranean shale formations, freeing natural gas and oil.
According to a report in The Oklahoman, the site has become a clearing house for state and federal regulators fielding questions about hydraulic fracturing. “That's what we intended,” said Gerry Baker, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission’s associate executive director. Officials estimate about 75 percent of all wells drilled in the U.S. are accounted for on FracFocus.
Transparency equals information, which fosters confidence in communities where hydraulic fracturing is under way. Community support is an essential element in the process that is driving an energy revolution, seen in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio and other states.
Happy birthday, FracFocus – and many more!