EPA Responds to Section 21 Petition on Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Chemicals


Source: EPA
Related Topics: Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) US Environmental Protection Agency

EPA is granting a portion of a petition submitted by 120 public health and environmental organizations asking the Agency to use its authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require companies to submit health and safety related information on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. While EPA has not granted the entire petition, consistent with the priorities identified in the President’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future and with the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board recommendations on steps to support the safe development of natural gas resources, EPA will launch a stakeholder and public engagement process to seek input on the design and scope of TSCA reporting requirements.

EPA is exploring an approach that would minimize reporting burden and costs, take advantage of existing information, and avoid duplication of efforts.  EPA believes that the development of this country’s natural gas resources should continue to grow responsibly, building off the important work that has already been done by the states, the industry, and others to disclose crucial information to the American public.

More Background:

On August 4, 2011, EPA received a petition requesting that EPA require manufacturers and processors of oil and gas exploration and production chemicals to: 1) require toxicity testing (under TSCA section 4); and 2) maintain and submit records on these chemical substances and mixtures, and any data on environmental or health effects and exposures (under TSCA sections 8(a), 8(c), and 8)d)).  Today’s response follows a Nov. 2 interim response which informed the petitioners that the Agency is not granting the request to require toxicity testing under TSCA Section 4 because the petition does not satisfy the requirements of TSCA to demonstrate the need for additional testing.  Today, EPA notified the petitioners that the Agency is partially granting the TSCA Sect. 8(a) and 8(d) requests and will initiate a dialogue process to seek public input on the design and scope of TSCA reporting requirements.

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