Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Policy and Data Analysis: Metrics and Trends in Transparency
Environmental Science and Technology
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This research presents two new policy-level performance indicators for measuring hydraulic fracturing chemical transparency to address the limitations of existing metrics and provide additional perspectives to stakeholders. Existing indicators do not capture the change in proportions of hydraulic fracturing wells with publicly available chemical information or percent of ingredient mass withheld on chemical disclosure forms. Based on the new indicators, state-level policy changes and the FracFocus register have increased hydraulic fracturing chemical transparency over the past decade and continue to drive measurable improvements. The percent of wells with publicly disclosed ingredients increased from ∼0 to 95% (2010-2019), and the average percent of hydraulic fracturing fluid mass withheld on chemical disclosure forms decreased ∼46.8% (2013-2019). The percent ingredient mass withholding was used to compare the two current regulatory chemical disclosure form approaches (system and traditional). In 2019, the average percent of hydraulic fracturing fluid mass withheld on system approach chemical disclosure forms (0.044%) was 66.3% less than the traditional forms (0.132%). This research improves our capabilities to understand, evaluate, and communicate the effect of chemical transparency policy decisions and corporate practices. Recent lessons learnt from the oil and gas industry should be used to study broader chemical transparency policies, information systems, and communication strategies.
Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Policy and Data Analysis: Metrics and Trends in Transparency.
Environmental Science and Technology, 55(6),