Public Chart: Fracking Chemical Disclosure Laws

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Looking from inside the file review room of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). File reviews must be scheduled a month in advance. photo: Joshua B. Pribanic

This chart outlines the general hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ chemical disclosure laws for state and federal agencies where the practice is used to extract fossil fuels from deep underground.

Public Herald has color-coded the chart, recreated from one originally published by Inside Climate News, in order to make clearer the level of transparency upheld by federal and state regulatory agencies where fracking occurs. It’s provided here in a format meant to be embedded or reused by the public.

Green represents transparency, where information is made easily accessible to the public. Yellow highlights regulations that maintain semi-transparency, where information is made available only to authority figures and distributed to the public and press based on submitted requests, but in some cases only at the discretion of the authority. Red indicates a lack of transparency, where the most stringent protections exist for fracking companies and the least amount of information is made available to the public.

By using a simple color code we found that even though new regulations drafted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management establish greater disclosure of chemicals involved in fracking, complete comprehensive information about these chemicals is still far from being transparent to the public.

The color codes are meant to make this information more visually digestible, not to be a de facto statement on the overall performance or transparency of an agency. (If information is incorrect or needs updated, please make note in the comment form or email 

Read more about the history of state disclosure rules and regulations regarding hydraulic fracturing.

  • AHF

    not perfect, but is an attempt by the industries to be forthcoming about what chemicals are utilized in the process of hydraulic fracturing.