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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Green Groups Want Fracking Chemicals Reported

Oil and Gas Would Join Other Industries, Including Coal, That Already Report to the Toxics Release Inventory; Federal Disclosure of Fracking Chemical Pollution Not Yet Required.

The Environmental Integrity Project, along with 16 other national, regional, and local organizations, have submited a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asking it to include the oil and gas extraction industry (including hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” for short) in its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.

TRI reporting is already required of most other energy industries including coal.  The groups argue that the loophole for the oil & gas extraction industries makes no sense, given the huge amounts of toxic chemicals involved that have only increased with the rapid rise of fracking.  Since oil and gas facilities are currently not required to report such data, the full scope of environmental and public health risks to citizens and communities is not known. The   toxics-related risks include air pollution, drinking water contamination, and discharges to rivers and streams.  

The petition was be unveiled during a live, phone-based news conference.

Speakers on the phone-based news event:

* Eric Schaeffer, director, Environmental Integrity Project;

* Amy Mall, senior policy analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council;

* Alan Septoff, research director, Earthworks;

* Pam Judy, a resident living near a natural gas compressor station, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania;

* Deb Thomas, organizer, Powder River Basin Resource Council, and resident of Clark, Wyoming;

* Eric Robinson, board president, CitizenShale, and resident of McHenry, Maryland.

The TRI is an EPA-maintained database which contains information on the disposal and other releases of over 650 toxic chemicals from thousands of facilities nationwide. One of the primary purposes of TRI data is to inform citizens, communities, and lawmakers of potentially hazardous or toxic releases of chemicals in their area.  This data allows communities to plan for their futures, lawmakers to assess the effectiveness of and need for environmental controls, and the facilities themselves to review and often voluntarily reduce their toxic releases.

CONTACT:  Leslie Anderson Maloy, (703) 276-3256 or lmaloy@hastingsgroup.com.

ABOUT EIP

The Environmental Integrity Project is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established in March of 2002 by former EPA enforcement attorneys to advocate for effective enforcement of environmental laws. EIP has three goals: 1) to provide objective analyses of how the failure to enforce or implement environmental laws increases pollution and affects public health; 2) to hold federal and state agencies, as well as individual corporations, accountable for failing to enforce or comply with environmental laws; and 3) to help local communities obtain the protection of environmental laws.

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