Is list of shale drilling chemicals enough?

    Expert from Temple University says the list isn’t enough to evaluate the threat to drinking water.

    A natural gas company drilling the lucrative Marcellus Shale formation released it’s previously secret list of chemicals associated with the drilling process Thursday. Some praise the voluntary disclosure. But others say more information is needed to assess the dangers of drilling.

    The natural gas industry gets an exemption from federal regulations when it comes to revealing the chemical composition of the fluid shot deep into the earth in order to help release the gas.

    This has environmentalists and landowners worried about the environmental and public health impacts.

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    In an attempt to reduce these fears, Range Resources began publishing the list of chemicals used in their wells.

    Michel Boufadel is a professor of environmental engineering at Temple University.

    “For me in terms of public health and environmental impact. These confirm what we always felt that you have highly toxic material, you have hazardous material, and that’s how you should treat that water, as if its highly toxic.”

    Boufadel worries about the potential short-term impact of waste-water pollution. But he also says the long-term impact of the drilling process also needs to be studied.

    The state Department of Environmental Protection wants to start requiring all companies to follow the lead of Range and reveal the chemicals.

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