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H.R. 2012 (115th): Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 6, 2017.

Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act of 2017

This bill repeals the exemption for hydraulic fracturing operations related to oil, gas, or geothermal production activities under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process to extract underground resources such as oil or gas from a geologic formation by injecting water, a propping agent (e.g., sand), and chemical additives into a well under enough pressure to fracture the geological formation.

The chemicals intended for use in underground injections must be disclosed before the hydraulic fracturing operations commence. The chemicals actually used must also be disclosed at the end of the operations. The disclosure must be made to state underground injection programs or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if the EPA has primary enforcement responsibility in the state. The state or the EPA must make the disclosure available to the public.

When a medical emergency exists and the proprietary chemical formula of a chemical used in the operations is necessary for medical treatment, hydraulic fracturing operations must disclose the formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical to the state, the EPA, or the treating physician or nurse upon request, regardless of whether a written statement of need or a confidentiality agreement has been provided. Hydraulic fracturing operations may require a written statement of need and a confidentiality agreement as soon thereafter as circumstances permit.