S. 865 FRAC Act Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act

Summary


FRAC Act Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act This bill repeals the exemption for hydraulic fracturing operations relating to oil and natural gas 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 bill amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prescribe regulations that authorize a state to seek primary enforcement responsibility for hydraulic fracturing operations for oil and natural gas without seeking to assume primary enforcement responsibility for other types of underground injection control wells. 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 the state or, if the EPA has primary enforcement responsibility, to the EPA. The state or the EPA must ensure the accuracy and completeness of the disclosed information and make it available to the public. When a medical emergency exists and the proprietary chemical formula of a chemical used in such hydraulic fracturing is necessary for medical diagnosis, treatment, or emergency response, hydraulic fracturing operations must disclose the formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical to the state, the EPA, a first responder, or a health care practitioner upon request, regardless of the existence of a written statement of need or a confidentiality agreement. Hydraulic fracturing operations may require the execution of the statement and agreement as soon as practicable. First responders or health care practitioners may share any information disclosed with other persons if the information is medically necessary, but such personnel may not make the information publicly available.

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