By Mark Jaffe – The Denver Post – April 23, 2013
The online database Colorado uses for disclosing the ingredients in fracking fluids used in drilling oil and gas wells is seriously flawed, according to a Harvard Law School study.
The analysis, done by the school’s environmental policy initiative, found reporting errors and gaps in the independent database FracFocus.
Colorado and ten other states, including Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Oklahoma, require operators to post chemical disclosures on FracFocus.
The online database was developed by the Groundwater Protection Council, an association of state water agencies, and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.
“FracFocus was a serious voluntary reporting effort,” said Kate Konschnik, policy director of the Harvard Environmental Law Program. “As a regulatory mechanism, the state’s haven’t thought out its use.”
In reviewing Texas filings, the researchers found that almost a third of the chemicals listed didn’t exist.
In Colorado there is a requirement that by February 2013 the database would be “searchable” for regulators and the public.