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Legislators prepare for potential 'fracking' in Florida

No one knows if Florida is going to be the next frontier for the new generation of oil and gas drilling known as fracking, but state legislators say — just in case — it’s time to write rules to require disclosure of the controversial technology.

The Florida House on Wednesday is expected to pass a bill that will require companies to disclose what chemicals they use when they explore for oil and gas using the controversial extraction process.

Fracking uses hydraulic fracturing technology to inject water, sand and chemicals underground to create fractures in rock formations. Oil and gas is released through the fissures and is captured by wells, built at the sites. Environmentalists warn that the chemical makeup of the fluid that is pumped into the ground could contaminate groundwater and release harmful pollutants, such as methane, into the air.

"The Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act," sponsored by Rep. Ray Rodriques, R-Estero, would require the state Division of Resource Management to set up an online chemical registry for owners and operators of wells, service companies, and suppliers that use hydraulic fracturing.

The bill also requires the information to be posted on the web site,, an online clearinghouse run by the Groundwater Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. More here.