Thursday, December 17, 2015

Harvard University Releases a Study Addressing Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure

Recently, the Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative (EPI) issued a study entitled “Hydraulic fracturing chemicals reporting: Analysis of available data and recommendations for policymakers.” The study investigates the changes in the disclosure of chemicals used during the hydraulic fracturing process after examining FracFocus disclosure forms.

EPI found that the amount of information submitted in the FracFocus chemical registry website has increased since 2013. In 2013, EPI released a report stating that the voluntary reporting of fracturing fluid composition in FracFocus “fails as a regulatory compliance tool” and contended that “the reliance on FracFocus by numerous states as a de facto regulatory mechanism sends a strong signal to industry that careful reporting and compliance is not a top priority.” In the new study, EPI confirms a trend towards greater disclosure while also stating that “companies seemed to disclose more information when FracFocus was a voluntary initiative led by the Department of Energy.”

The study is available in the academic journal Energy Policy at

Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow

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