You’ve got to hand it to the lawyers on this one. In spite of pretty much everyone’s stance on good health, fracking companies don’t have to disclose what’s getting into the water.
Aside from being linked to earthquakes, which are becoming more frequent in areas that have never had them before, fracking is also linked to water contamination. Thanks to the slurry of sand and chemicals that gets pumped into the ground as part of the hydraulic fracturing process, groundwater near these rural sites, which residents have relied on for clean drinking water for generations, is now a public health hazard.
Granted, many fracking sites have not suffered from earthquakes and groundwater contamination, but could it be that the contamination can’t be detected because residents and regulators don’t know what to look for? That’s the case being faced by residents of Wyoming, the first state to require full disclosure of the chemicals being used in the fracking process. If residents and regulators know what to look for, then they can keep watch on their water supplies and avoid chemical contamination from fracking sites.
This might seem like a basic human right, to know what some fracking company is putting into your groundwater, and Wyoming seems to agree, at least the Wyoming Supreme Court (WSC). A lower court, on the other hand, has ruled that fracking chemical ingredients are shielded from disclosure because they are company secrets. Will the WSC overturn the ruling? For the sake of Wyoming residents, and anyone located near a fracking site, I should certainly hope that lawmakers will stand on the side of the resident, not on the side of big business.
Wyoming Lower Court Judge, Right Corner Pocket (of the Fracking Companies)
Image © FreeDigitalPhotos.net