Mandatory Disclosure of Hydraulic Fracturing Water Composition

Keith B. Hall Louisiana State University Law Center 1 East Campus Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70803


Historically, the companies that perform hydraulic fracturing kept the composition of their fracturing fluids confidential, treating the compositions as trade secrets. But in recent years, many people have become concerned that hydraulic fracturing might be harmful to the environment, and some people pushed for regulations that would require companies to publicly disclose the composition of fracturing fluids. The push has been effective. Since mid-2010, about twenty-three states have enacted mandatory disclosure regulations. Those states collectively account for more than 99% of the drilling that occurs either onshore or in state waters in the United States.


This demonstrates a strong consensus in support of mandatory disclosure. But the various states’ disclosure regulations differ from one another in significant ways. One potential reason for the differences is that different circumstances exist in different states. Another potential reason for the differences is that the mandatory disclosure movement spread extremely quickly – so quickly that most states adopted such regulations before there had been sufficient time to learn from the experiences of other states.   This presentation will discuss the differences in various state regulations, analyze which differences are most important, and propose conclusions regarding which approaches may work best.


Key words: hydraulic fracturing, fracking, fracing, chemical disclosure

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