Filed under: Environment/Ecology, EU Information, Waste, Water | Tags: chemicals, Environmental, REACH, testing, Water quality
The European Commission have reminded Member State Governments of the need to respond to a questionnaire to inform DG Environment of the measures being taken surrounding any intention to permit exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
This follows on from a Commission Recommendation which discusses the minimum principles on this subject, and was issued in January 2014.
The questionnaire contains a wide range of questions, but some of them have a definite analytical measurement direction. For example, one of the issues raised in question 6.2 is whether baseline values for the presence of methane and other volatile organic compounds in water would be determined prior to operations commencing. Question 10.1 asks whether measures are in place to ensure that manufacturers, importers and downstream users refer to “hydraulic fracturing” when complying with their obligations under REACH Regulation – specifically with regards to chemical substances used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Two points raised in question 11.3 ask whether measures are in place to ensure operators measure the precise composition of the fracturing fluid used for each well, and air emissions of methane, other volatile organic compounds and other gases that are likely to have harmful effects on human health and/or the environment. Question 15 asks whether measures are in place to ensure that the operator publicly disseminates information on the chemical substances and volumes of water that are intended to be used and are finally used for the high-volume hydraulic fracturing of each well, including listing the names and CAS numbers of all substances and include a safety data sheet, if available, and the substances’ maximum concentration in the fracturing fluid.
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