The EPA has announced that it will take public comment about whether to require chemical companies to disclose the chemicals contained in fracking fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing process. The “advanced notice of proposed rulemaking” issued by the EPA would also require oil and gas companies to submit all health and safety studies on the fluid to the federal government. The proposed rulemaking was partly in response to a petition by Earthjustice asking that full health and safety information be released by hydraulic fracturing companies and their suppliers.
Hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – is a process in which geologic formations are fractured in order to release natural gases that are often otherwise trapped beneath the Earth’s surface. A well is dug deep into the earth with a deliberately punctured casing. Fracking fluid is then injected at high pressure into the well, and goes through the casing to fracture the targeted rock formation.
Requiring companies to disclose the ingredients in fracking fluid would be an important step in understanding the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing. Without this information the government and its citizens are not in an equal position to industry in trying to safeguard the health of persons living near fracking operations.
Although the fracturing fluid itself is predominantly made up of water and sand, a single fracking job requires 39,000 gallons of chemicals within that fluid. Recent studies have found that glycol ethers, toluene, and several other well-established chemicals known to cause birth defects and miscarriages are prominent in the fracking process. Thornton Law Firm has been litigating cases involving exposures to the same toxic chemicals on behalf of children with birth defects whose parents were working in semiconductor manufacturing and other industries. We have pursued such lawsuits using the leading experts in the fields of reproductive medicine, epidemiology and exposure assessment. We have recovered significant multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of such children, allowing for them to receive proper care and treatment for the remainder of their lives. Thornton Law Firm is also investigating cases involving fracking and birth defects in Colorado, Pennsylvania and other states.
If you believe that you have been injured by exposure to nearby fracking operations, please tell us your story here or call 1-888-491-9726 for a confidential evaluation of your claim by a member of Thornton Law Firm’s experienced birth defect team.