The Heat's Still On! - Offshore Operators Must Disclose Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Chemicals

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The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that starting on March 1, 2014, oil and gas operators performing offshore hydraulic fracturing operations must maintain an inventory of chemicals used to formulate frac fluid, and if there is any discharge of that fluid, to include the chemical formulation to the EPA within a quarterly discharge monitoring report.

These new disclosure requirements will be mandatory under a revised oil and gas permit that operators must obtain to perform offshore drilling operations in federal waters. The EPA acknowledged that the basis for this new disclosure requirement is recent public concern surrounding the use of hydraulic fracturing in federal waters without the knowledge of, or consent from, applicable federal agencies. (See Stoel Rives’ October 14, 2013 post).

The permits will cover 23 existing production platforms on the Pacific Continental Shelf and any new operations beginning on after March 1, 2014.