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This is in response to the June 4 article titled "Advisory panel on fracking calls for full disclosure on chemicals."
The panel appointed to review the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy fracking regulations raised many questions about disclosure requirements and
DMME should revise its regulations to include the following three suggestions to increase public safety and provide needed transparency.
First, it should require full, public disclosure of all the chemicals to be used before fracking commences. If different chemicals are actually used, the disclosure statement should be promptly revised, so that citizens, medical and emergency personnel can be prepared to respond to leaks and spills.
Second, so-called trade secrets can be protected by withholding the "recipe," unless a spill or leak occurs.
And third, for full and reliable disclosure of chemicals, the agency should find or develop an official public registry.
The gas industry's registry, FracFocus, is inadequate: It accepts limited reports, is not vetted, has no penalties for false reports and crashes frequently.
The writer is fracking issues chairman, Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club.