Bill calls for disclosure on 'fracking'

04 12, 2012 by Daily Advertiser

Fluids mixed with water that's used to fracture shale to recover natural gas or oil buried deep under the earth's surface should be disclosed, legislation approved in committee Wednesday says.

The House Natural Resources Committee unanimously approved House Bill 957 by Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, with support from the oil and gas industry and the Sierra Club.

The bill originally required that any additives used in the fracturing process be reported to the commissioner of conservation 30 days before application. But an amendment supported by Edwards said the fluid additive does not have to be revealed until within 20 days of completion of the well.

The fracturing, or "fracking," process uses 99.5 percent freshwater, Edwards said.

He said he worked with industry and environmental groups to reach a compromise, and after an amendment was attached, no one opposed the bill.

Edwards said he wanted prior notice, but in discussions with industry representatives found that wells vary and conditions dictate which ingredient is added.

The bill puts into law rules adopted by the commissioner's office, Edwards said, and requires that reports include the concentration of the material added to the water.