A shale-gas boom is expected in northeastern Ohio as energy companies begin to exploit the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits. But there are concerns about the effect of hydraulic fracturing on aquifers and on seismic activity.
The Ohio legislature has passed a bill (SB 315) setting new rules for hydraulic fracturing in Ohio. The bill requires limited disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic frracturing. The bill also requires water sampling within 1,500 feet of proposed wells. It mandates that oil and gas wells be tracked between the time they are drilled and the time they are capped. Waste fluids from other states must be disclosed before they can be injected into wells in Ohio. The legislation requires increased inspection of wells, and requires well owners to hold liability insurance coverage.
With regards to injected chemicals the bill requires that (emphasis mine)
(10)(b) If applicable, the trade name and the total volume of all products, fluids, and substances, and the supplier of each product, fluid, or substance used to stimulate the well. The owner shall identify each additive used, provide a brief description of the purpose for which the additive is used, and include the maximum concentration of the additive used. In addition, the owner shall include a list of all chemicals, not including any information that is designated as a trade secret pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section, intentionally added to all products, fluids, or substances and include each chemical's corresponding chemical abstracts service number and the maximum concentration of each chemical. The owner shall obtain the chemical information, not including any information that is designated as a trade secret pursuant to division (I)(1) of this section, from the company that stimulated the well or supplied the chemicals. If the company that stimulated the well or supplied the chemicals provides incomplete or inaccurate chemical information, the owner shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the required information from the company or supplier.
and it goes on to say that if the chemical involved has not been disclosed because it is a trade secret, a medical professional can request the exact chemical composition, which he or she must keep confidential.
H)(1) If a medical professional, in order to assist in the diagnosis or treatment of an individual who was affected by an incident associated with the production operations of a well, requests the exact chemical composition of each product, fluid, or substance and of each chemical component in a product, fluid, or substance that is designated as a trade secret pursuant to division (I) of this section, the person claiming the trade secret protection pursuant to that division shall provide to the medical professional the exact chemical composition of the product, fluid, or substance and of the chemical component in a product, fluid, or substance that is requested.
According to the Marietta Times, the bill allows people to sue to learn what chemicals energy companies use in their hydraulic fracturing operations, but people who believe a chemical sickened them or polluted their land, would have to prove that a specific chemical compound, many of which are typically not divulged by drillers because they are claimed to be trade secrets, made them sick or polluted their land.