Ohio legislators will vote this week on a set of new natural gas drilling regulations, including chemical disclosure laws, that opponents say favor natural gas drillers.
Senate Bill 315, which passed that chamber on May 15, would require that drillers disclose the trade name and the “total amount of all products, fluids and substances” that are used to drill natural gas wells.
State lawmakers are calling the bill one of the toughest in the nation, but environmental and medical groups criticize it for allowing well owners to pick and choose which chemicals they consider as trade secrets, prohibiting doctors from informing their patients about them.
Under the language of the bill, a well owner, driller or operator can “withhold from disclosure” any fluid “or substance or a chemical component in a product, fluid, or substance as a trade secret.”
The Ohio House by Thursday could take up the issue on the chamber floor, assuming the bill makes it out of the Public Utilities Committee.