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USEPA Seeking to Obtain Information on Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Mixtures

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced the availability of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public comments on “the information that should be reported or disclosed for hydraulic fracturing chemical substances and mixtures and the mechanism for obtaining this information.”  USEPA’s action responds to a 2011 petition signed by Earthjustice and more than 100 other groups requesting that USEPA require toxicity testing of chemicals and mixtures used by the oil and gas industry and submission of various records pursuant to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act.  Upon the ANPR’s publication in the Federal Register, USEPA will accept comments for 90 days on a number of issues relating to the “design and scope” of voluntary and/or mandatory approaches for USEPA to obtain information about chemicals and mixtures used in hydraulic fracturing.  Jim Jones, USEPA  Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, considers the ANPR to be “an important step in increasing the public’s access to information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing activities.”