Delayed Discussion of Fracking Chemical Disclosure Rule

October 18, 2013.  According to  staff in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,  the October 25, 2013 meeting of the Protection of Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information Study Group has been cancelled. The study group will next meet in November.

As mentioned in an earlier post,  the study group has been working to resolve the  controversy   over  a draft Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) rule on disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid.  Last spring, the  MEC’s Environmental Standards Committee approved a draft rule requiring  drilling operators to disclose all  chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid  to DENR, but  limiting  the amount of information  provided to the public on  trade secret chemicals. The controversy arose  because  oil and gas industry representatives objected to routine disclosure of   trade secret  information  even to state regulators. The industry preferred alternative language  allowing  the drilling operator to  withhold specific information on trade secret chemicals  unless DENR needed the information to respond to a   threat to the environment or public health.

You can find more about  the controversy over the disclosure rule and existing state law on protection of  trade secret information here and here.