MONROE COUNTY, Ohio -- Environmentalists say the recent fire at a horizontal well site in Monroe County highlights the flaws in chemical disclosure laws.
The fire near Hannibal spread to 20 nearby trucks and required the efforts of firefighters from six counties to put it out. Nathan Rutz with Ohio Citizen Action in Cleveland says first responders likely did not know all the chemicals involved in the accident because the only ones listed were "condensate and produced water." He says that, as a matter of public health, chemical disclosure laws should be clarified to eliminate any confusion:
Under federal requirements, hazardous chemicals must be reported annually, and drillers must file reports for any additional chemicals brought on-site – to be submitted within 90 days for hazardous chemicals, and 30 days for those termed "extremely hazardous."
Ohio lawmakers are considering House Bill 490, which includes repealing part of the law that exempts the oil and gas industry, so that it could at least report hazardous chemicals to state and local emergency planners and fire departments.