United States Representatives Jared Polis and Diana Degette from Colorado and Maurice Hinchey from New York have introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act, also known as the FRAC Act, which would require energy companies to provide a list of the chemicals they use during the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Currently, companies are allowed to keep their proprietary fracking fluid mixtures confidential as trade secrets.
These chemicals are inserted into the ground using high pressure systems that can allow them to leech into groundwater. If wastewater is not properly treated, the chemicals can also make their way to waterways and drinking water. Several of the chemicals, including diesel fuel and benzene, are known to be highly toxic. Illnesses associated with fracking have been documented in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.
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