Report Questions Use of Diesel in Fracking

- CONWAY, AR -- A report by an environmental advocacy group says diesel fuel may have being used during hydraulic fracturing without the proper permits.

The company whose subsidiary runs some of the wells in Arkansas denies the accuracy of the report, saying kerosene wasn't defined by the EPA as a diesel product until February of 2014, and hasn't been used in hydraulic fracturing fluids since then.

The Environmental Integrity Project study released Wednesday says at least 33 companies drilled 351 wells in 12 states have used prohibited diesel fuels without required permits in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

A lawyer with EIP says companies who used diesel products without the proper permits should be fined.

The “Fracking Beyond the Law” report also calls for better labeling and more disclosure of the ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing.

Southwestern Energy, which owns wells in Arkansas, has released a statement regarding the report:


"The data included in the referenced report is from data released in a 2012 article by Mike Soraghan at E&E News in August 2012.


A corrosion inhibitor containing kerosene was utilized by a service company on these wells.  The corrosion inhibitor was added to the water-based fracturing fluid.


In early EPA guidance, diesel was not defined. In mid-2012, EPA provided a definition of diesel that included kerosene. In February 2014, EPA released its guidance document on diesel use, which included the definition of diesel. Southwestern Energy stopped the use of chemical additives, which were defined as diesel based on the EPA definition in 2012.


Southwestern Energy is committed to producing natural gas in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. At Southwestern Energy, we work closely with local, state and federal agencies to ensure our operations comply with all regulations. We understand these regulations are important because they protect the communities in which we work and live."


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