A group of stakeholders, sometimes known in news and government parlance as a “stakeholder group” will meet today in Raleigh at the Archdale building to discuss what types of disclosure requirements will be mandated for fracking operators.
“I think that’s a more important consideration than protecting corporate trade secrets rights,” said Kristin Thornburg with the NC Sierra Club. “We’re talking about compounds and chemicals that could be very dangerous – very dangerous to public health and to the environment..”
Probes of suspected contamination in other states have been hampered by the fact that investigators weren’t even sure what chemicals to look for, she said.
The public’s right to know is at the heart of the matter and it’s not just the right to know what’s going into the ground, but what the process of fracking will do in releasing what’s already there. Via IndyWeek last month:
However, it’s not just the fracking additives that trouble environmental advocates such as Hope Taylor, executive director of Clean Water for North Carolina. “Groups should also be focusing on the impact of natural materials in drinking water,” she says.
Taylor says naturally occurring, organic substances in shale, some of them flammable or toxic, such as methane and benzene, can move more rapidly into aquifers from fracking operations than water-based frack fluids. In drinking water, they can be as dangerous as the additives.
For Taylor, the more disclosure, the better. “This is our public groundwater,” Taylor says. “The public has a right to know.”
Further information — Frac Focus, Chemical Disclosure Registry