This week, Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) announced new improvements to FracFocus.org – the national database, which discloses the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process. These updates will maximize transparency, providing the public with even easier access to information.
The upcoming improvements will:
- Reduce the number of human errors in disclosures
- Expand the public’s ability to search records
- Provide public extraction of data in a “machine readable” format
- Update educational information on chemical use, oil & gas production and potential environmental impacts
The latest improvements to the website include installing a new self-checking feature that will help companies detect and correct possible errors before the information is entered into the database. Further, the search engine of the website has been improved, with the addition of new menus and new search terms, such as the “disclosure submission date.”
Finally, large amounts of data from the website will now be able to be extracted through “machine readable” data sets, greatly enhancing the ability of educational institutions, organizations and the public to learn more about the hydraulic fracturing process.
Currently, FracFocus has over 93, 125 wells registered. As we’ve noted before, President Obama’s former top energy and climate adviser, Heather Zichal expressed the White House’s strong support for FracFocus.org: “As an administration, we believe that FracFocus is an important tool that provides transparency to the American people,” she said.
U.S. Shale development has fundamentally changed the domestic and international energy markets, but the number one priority is a commitment to operate in an environmentally sound manner, protecting the health and safety of the public and surrounding communities. The new update to FracFocus.org is one of many steps in that process.