FracFocus is widely used by the oil and gas industry for chemical disclosures. Thus far, at least twenty states rely on the website to store its disclosures. In fact, a version of FracFocus is also used in five provinces in Canada. Earlier today, the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (OGCC) announced a number of changes to its disclosure system. The GWPC and OGCC have stated that these changes will increase the quality of FracFocus’s performance as well as its versatility.
One change will be the addition of self-checking features to FracFocus. The program will detect potential errors in disclosures and correct those errors before a disclosure is submitted. The GWPC and OGCC hope that this program will decrease the likelihood of human errors. Among the errors that the program will check is to ensure the Chemical Abstract Service numbers are in the correct format.
FracFocus will also adopt the systems approach for disclosure reports. According to the GWPC and OGCC, the systems approach will improve the transparency of chemical reporting by permitting companies to disclose a more accurate list of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. The GWPC and OGCC hope that the increased transparency will lead to fewer trade secret lawsuits.
Additionally, FracFocus will adjust its search capabilities to improve the public’s ability to use the website. For example, the program will feature pulldown menus and additional search fields. FracFocus will also increase the number of formats for its records. Currently, FracFocus only provides records in PDF.