Wyoming Supreme Court Remands Fracking Fluid Disclosure Case
The Wyoming Supreme Court is asking a lower court to reconsider whether the public has the right to know the ingredients in the chemical products used to facilitate hydraulic fracturing.
A judge had ruled that the chemical ingredients are shielded from disclosure as corporate trade secrets, but the Wyoming Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case back to the District Court in Casper to fix certain deficiencies.
Shannon Anderson, staff attorney for the Powder River Basin Resource Council, one of the groups that challenged the lower court's decision, says overall she is pleased with the ruling. She added the Court also adopted a narrower definition of trade secrets.
Oil and developers use hydraulic fracturing to boost production. The technique pumps water, sand and chemicals into wells to fracture open oil- and gas-bearing rock deposits. Wyoming was the first state to require disclosure of frack fluid ingredients to state regulators. The regulators since have honored companies' requests to guard their competitive advantage by not publicly releasing the ingredient lists.