BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Landowners, environmentalists and public health workers are asking Montana regulators to require companies to more fully divulge which “fracking” chemicals they use to produce oil and gas.
A 2011 state rule allows companies to conceal chemicals they consider trade secrets.
Critics say the trade secrets exception represents an unlawful loophole, violating the public’s right to know about chemicals that threaten public health.
A coalition represented by the environmental law firm Earthjustice on Tuesday petitioned the Montana Board of Oil and Gas Conservation to tighten its rules.
Earthujustice attorney Katherine O’Brien says companies should have to justify any fracking ingredients withheld, as is done in Wyoming.
Board administrator Jim Halvorson says the 2011 rule has been adequate. It requires proprietary ingredients to be released if needed after a fracking fluids spill.