Seventeen public interest groups, including the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to close a loophole in U.S. laws that allows hydraulic fracturing operations to be exempt from disclosing the pollutants they release each year.
Under the current code, the fracking industry is exempt from having to disclose the pollutants that they release into the atmosphere every year, which is estimated by the EPA to be about 127,000 tons of pollution. These pollutants endanger both the environment and people living in and around areas where fracking wells are operated, and the lack of disclosure makes it difficult to pinpoint the cause of illnesses and properly diagnose people when they become sick from exposure.
That is why the EIP and other groups have created a petition that was sent to the EPA, hoping to convince the agency to once again consider adding the fracking industry to their Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), which contains information about the amount and type of pollutants released into the environment by U.S. companies. The last time the agency considered adding the fracking industry to the list was in 1996, but those discussions ended with the industry as the victor.