House reintroduces FRAC Act

On May 9, 2013, the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2013 (the “FRAC Act”) was reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The FRAC Act was first introduced to Congress in 2008. If passed, the FRAC Act would repeal the exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Act establishes groundwater protection safeguards for hydraulic fracturing operations and requires the disclosure of chemicals used during the hydraulic fracturing process.

Specifically, the FRAC Act would require that persons conducting hydraulic fracturing operations disclose to the state:

  1. a list of chemicals intended for use; 
  2. the Chemical Abstracts Service numbers for each chemical and constituent; 
  3. Material Safety Data Sheets when available; and 
  4. the volume of each chemical used. 

The same information must also be submitted within 30 days after hydraulic fracturing operations end. Similar to chemical disclosure rules adopted by many states, the FRAC Act would not require the public disclosure of proprietary chemical formulas.