The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission delays decision on disclosure rule for hydraulic fracturing fluids

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Here’s a report about Monday’s marathon session from Catharine Tsai writing for the Associated Press via The Durango Herald. From the article:

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission made the decision after hearing about 11 hours of opinions on the proposal from industry officials, conservation groups, residents, local government leaders and water utilities who overflowed a meeting room Monday. All parties generally supported the commission’s efforts but disagreed on the details, including protection for trade secrets and how quickly the information should be disclosed. “We understand disclosures are important to the public,” said Tisha Conoly Schuller, president of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association…

Commission director David Neslin said requiring companies to publicly disclose what chemicals they use is important for protecting public health and the environment. But more critical are the state’s rules for monitoring wells, ensuring proper casing and cementing around oil and gas wells, and sampling water to help detect contamination, Neslin said. “It’s only one tool,” Neslin said of public disclosures. “We have other tools that provide more direct protection.”[…]

Commission staff say a survey of Colorado disclosures on FracFocus.org show only a small percentage claim trade secrets, though the website includes only voluntary disclosures. Neslin said the commission would support creating its own website for disclosures, if FracFocus doesn’t add a way to search listings by chemical or time period. FracFocus already allows searches by other parameters, including by location…

The rule-making process has prompted suggestions, including adding tracers in fracking fluid so that any contamination can be traced and banning diesel or carcinogens in fracking fluid. Neslin said commissioners could consider those ideas separately later and also adjust the disclosure rule if needed in the future.

More coverage from Cathy Proctor writing for the Denver Business Journal. From the article:

More than 70 people packed into the Colorado State Land Board’s conference room and hallways at 1127 Sherman Street Monday morning for two hours of public comment.

More oil and gas coverage here and here.

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