Today, FracFocus has records for more than 77,000 wells. Pennsylvania is one of 14 states requiring operators to use the website as part of their chemical disclosure laws, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
However, transparency about those chemicals remains elusive.
“We were just trying to do some good”
FracFocus is run by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and the Groundwater Protection Council, both based in Oklahoma City. The IOGCC is a multi-state government agency and the GWPC is a nonprofit group of state regulators who oversee water quality and oil and gas development. Pennsylvania is a member of both organizations.
“We were just trying to do some good,” says GWPC Associate Director Dan Yates, “Get some data out there on something we felt the public was hungry for.”
With funding from industry trade groups, FracFocus launched in April 2011 as an optional disclosure tool. More than 200 operators voluntarily uploaded their fracking fluid recipes for each well – with the exception of those ingredients companies deemed “trade secrets.”
One year later, the voluntary disclosure site started to become a required regulatory tool in several states, including Pennsylvania.