Although oil and gas companies continue to maintain that fracking is safe and there is no risk of injury, personal accounts from residents of areas with a fracking industry presence suggest otherwise. Oil and gas companies utilize a variety of mechanisms to ensure secrecy within the industry. Through gaps in federal regulation, the classification of fracking fluid as a trade secret, sealed settlements, and confidentiality orders imposed on people injured by fracking, access to information about the industry—including chemicals used and harm to residents—is minimal. This Note argues that the implementation of state sunshine laws is one possible mechanism to shine light on the practices of the fracking industry in order to encourage more governmental monitoring, expose the risks, and provide possible recourse for injured parties to recover in a toxic tort suit.
Communities in the Dark: The Use of State Sunshine Laws to Shed Light on the Fracking Industry,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.