Texas And Colorado Adopt Far-Reaching Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Rules

Texas And Colorado Adopt Far-Reaching Hydraulic Fracturing Chemical Disclosure Rules

On December 13, 2011, Texas and Colorado agencies adopted far-reaching rules governing the disclosure of chemicals contained in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Both rules require oil and gas operators to disclose on a national public website, FracFocus (fracfocus.org), chemical ingredients and water volumes used to hydraulically fracture wells within their respective states. The Texas Rule applies to hydraulic fracturing treatments performed on a well with an initial drilling permit issued on or after February 1, 2012. The Colorado Rule applies to hydraulic fracturing treatments performed on or after April 1, 2012.

Required Disclosures – Texas

The Texas rule, codified at 16 Texas Administrative Code §3.29, sets forth disclosure requirements for suppliers, service companies, and operators involved in hydraulic fracturing operations. Specifically, it requires that, no later than 15 days following the completion of a hydraulic fracturing treatment on a well, suppliers and service companies must provide the operator of the well with the identity of each chemical additive and each chemical ingredient intentionally added to the hydraulic fracturing fluid. The list must include any chemical ingredient for which a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) must be prepared pursuant to 29 C.F.R. § 1910.1200(g)(2) and all other chemical ingredients that were intentionally included in, or used for the purpose of creating, a hydraulic fracturing treatment for the well.

A "chemical ingredient" is defined under the Texas rule as "a discrete chemical constituent with its own specific name or identity, such as a CAS [Chemical Abstracts Service] number, that is contained in an additive." An "additive" is defined as "any chemical substance or combination of substances, including a proppant, contained in a hydraulic fracturing fluid that is intentionally added to a base fluid for a specific purpose whether or not the purpose of any such substance or combination of substances is to create fractures in a formation."

Operators, in turn, are required to submit information to the hydraulic fracturing chemical disclosure registry website of the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission known as "FracFocus," referred to in the rule as the Chemical Disclosure Registry, on or before a well completion report is submitted the Commission. As previously...

To continue reading