The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has finally decided to do something about the lack of oversight regarding fracking fluids. A new proposal by the agency would finally require the fracking industry to disclose the chemical cocktails they are injecting into the ground at fracking well sites. The only problem with the proposal is that it would only require disclosure after the chemicals were put into the ground, meaning that the potential for contamination wouldn’t change a bit.
ENS Newswire lays out the basics of the BLM proposal:
Now, the BLM proposes three new practices to protect public health, drinking water, and the environment. First, the agency proposes to require the public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking operations on federal and Indian lands after fracturing operations have been completed.
Second, the BLM proposes to require confirmation that wells used in fracturing operations meet appropriate construction standards. The agency says this would improve assurances of well-bore integrity to verify that fluids used in wells during fracturing operations are not escaping.
And third, the agency proposes to confirm that oil and gas operators have a water management plan in place for handling fracturing fluids that flow back to the surface.
While the proposal to force disclosure on fracking fluid contents is a step forward, the fact that they would still be allowed to be injected underground without disclosure is a step backwards.