FRAC Act Focuses on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing

Otsego County (NY) Gas Group

Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is the process of releasing natural gas from the ground. But, to get the gas out, water, sand and other chemicals have to go in. Lawmakers from big gas drilling states want everyone to know what those chemicals are and how it may affect your drinking water.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate recently reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act. The FRAC Act places hydraulic fracturing under the framework of the Safe Drinking Water Act and requires energy companies to disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process.

Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) sponsored the House version of the bill (H.R. 1084)with thirty-one cosponsors. Senator Bob Casey (D-PN) sponsored the Senate version (S.587) with seven co-sponsors.

“The FRAC Act provides an incredible opportunity to protect wildlife habitat and human health from toxic chemicals,” says Todd Keller, Senior Manager of Public Lands Campaigns for NWF. “Hunters, anglers, conservationists, and local communities are concerned about the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water quality, wildlife, critical habitat. This legislation moves us toward responsible natural gas development. Exploration should not be done in a way that puts public health and wildlife habitat at risk from exposure to toxic chemicals.”

“This key piece of legislation follows on the heels of statements from Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey that mischaracterizes the impacts of hydraulic fracturing on water resources and downplays the public’s right to know about what may be contaminating their drinking water. It is unfortunate a senior Department of the Interior official would be so cavalier with his words about such an important issue affecting communities all over the country.”

Click here to find out how you can take action to protect our nation’s waters from hydraulic fracturing.