Halliburton Subpoenaed After Failing to Provide Fracking Fluid Data

Halliburton Co. has failed to provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with data on the gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, prompting the agency to issue the oil-field services company a subpoena. The EPA is gathering data for a congressionally mandated study on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water.

In September, the EPA asked nine companies, including Halliburton, to provide information on the contents of fracking fluid. Halliburton is the only firm that has not responded to the EPA request.

“Halliburton has failed to provide EPA the information necessary to move forward with this important study,” the agency said in the statement. “Today EPA issued a subpoena to the company requiring submission of the requested information that has yet to be provided.”

For its part, Halliburton has called the agency’s request overly broad. The company said it has already provided the EPA with 5,000 pages of document, and that meeting the fracking fluid request would require the preparation of 50,000 spreadsheets.

“Halliburton welcomes any federal court’s examination of our good-faith efforts with the EPA to date,” a Halliburton spokesperson told Bloomberg News in an emailed statement.

Fracking involves injecting water, sand, and a cocktail of chemicals at high pressure into rock formations thousands of feet below the surface. Thanks to the 2005 Energy Act, hydraulic fracturing is exempt from federal regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result, drillers are not required to disclose the chemicals that make up fracking fluids. Some studies have found that fracking fluids contain toxic chemicals, including benzene glycol-ethers, toluene, 2-(2-methoxyethoxy) ethanol, and nonylphenols.

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