Ground Water Canada

Features Drilling
Improvements coming to fracking monitoring website


March 4, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

Topics

March 4, 2015, Washington – FracFocus, the U.S.
system for disclosing chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing
process, which operates in five Canadian provinces, is undergoing several improvements.

March 4, 2015, Washington – FracFocus, the U.S.
system for disclosing chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing
process, which operates in five Canadian provinces, is undergoing several improvements.

The Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and Interstate
Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), joint venture partners in the FracFocus
initiative, announced several improvements to the system in a news release.

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New features for 2015:

  • reducing
    the number of human errors in disclosures
  • expanding
    the public's ability to search records
  • providing
    public extraction of data in a "machine readable" format
  • updating
    educational information on chemical use, oil and gas production and potential
    environmental impacts

The installation of new self-checking features in the system
will help companies detect and correct possible errors before disclosures are
submitted. This feature will detect errors verifying that Chemical Abstract Service
numbers (CASRN’s) meet the proper format. 


An emphasis on the use of a reporting format called the
“systems approach” will improve chemical reporting transparency for the
public and may result in a reduction in the number of trade secret claims. This
improvement will allow companies to file a more complete list of chemicals used
in a hydraulic fracturing job. This approach was supported by many of the
operating companies.

The public’s ability to search records will be enhanced
through the use of pulldown menus and the addition of search fields such as the
disclosure submission date.

Improved capability to capture data through the extraction
of "machine readable" data sets will provide wider data access for
the public. At present FracFocus records are available only in PDF format.

These improvements are designed with the goal of
providing highly accurate information about chemicals used in individual
hydraulic fracturing operations. An additional dozen small improvements are intended to allow
participating companies and the public to access data more efficiently. 

FracFocus is the state oil and gas agencies reporting option
of choice with 20 states currently housing disclosures on the website,
nearly 100,000 accessible disclosures and more than one million visitors to
the site from 134 countries. A licensed version of the system is operating in five Canadian provinces.