VA Senate Committee Nixes Frack Trade Secret Protection

In January MDN told you about an effort in Virginia to ensure new changes in Virginia’s environmental regulations that require “mandatory disclosure of fracking chemicals, baseline water testing and monitoring, and spill prevention and response planning” would still protect trade secrets–the exact combinations of chemicals used by drillers when fracking (see Proposed VA Law Would Protect Frack Chemical Trade Secrets). As we said at the time, Big Green groups are demagoging the issue, claiming drillers want to keep fracking chemicals secret from first responders and doctors. Not true. But that doesn’t stop the headlines from continuing, like “Citizens have a right to know about fracking chemicals” and “King George supervisors lobby for disclosure of fracking chemicals” (see Debate & Misinformation re Frack Chemical Disclosure Rages in VA). Here’s the thing: fracking chemicals ARE required to be disclosed. The proposed law that modifies the regulations doesn’t change that. The new law only shields the exact combinations of chemicals from being disclosed–and even the exact combination can/will still be exposed for doctors and first responders. However, the damage has been done. Enough lies hit the fan that members of a Virginia Senate committee have rejected it, ending the bill before it could receive a full vote. In other words, Senators believed the lies…

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