On Feb. 1, 2012, the Railroad Commission of Texas (Railroad Commission, Commission or RRC) implemented the Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Rule (Statewide Rule 29, Texas Administrative Code, Title 16, Part 1, §3.29), one of the nation’s most comprehensive rules for disclosure of chemical ingredients used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The rule requires Texas oil and gas operators to disclose on the FracFocus website (fracfocus.org), chemical ingredients and water volumes used in hydraulic fracturing treatments. FracFocus is a public Internet chemical registry hosted by the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC). The GWPC is a national association of state ground water and underground injection control agencies. The IOGCC is a national commission of state oil and gas regulators.
Prior to passage of the rule, Texas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were voluntarily entering data on hydraulic fracturing chemical ingredients into the FracFocus website for about half of all wells in Texas undergoing hydraulic fracturing. Now a listing of ingredients used in the hydraulic fracturing treatment of a well that has been permitted by the Commission on or after Feb. 1, 2012, must be uploaded to the site.
The Railroad Commission has taken the lead in enhancing the public’s understanding of hydraulic fracturing with the rule’s adoption and implementation. This Frequently Asked Questions document has been developed to increase public understanding of the hydraulic fracturing process in Texas and the role the Railroad Commission plays in ensuring environmental protection and public safety.