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In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was passed by
Congress to make sure we have clean drinking water which is free from both
natural and man-made contaminates. In 2005, the Bush/Cheney Energy Bill
exempted natural gas drilling from the Safe Drinking Water Act. For each frack,
80 to 300 tons of chemicals may be used, though the Bush/Cheney Energy
provision exempts companies from disclosing the chemicals used during hydraulic
fracturing. This is now commonly referred to as the Halliburton Loophole.
Scientists have identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene, which even in low levels
can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors,
confusion, and unconsciousness, and in high concentrations can cause leukemia
and death. The American Petroleum Institute stated in 1948 that “it is
generally considered that the only absolutely safe concentration for benzene is
zero.” The water is also often laden with barium, which is found in underground
ore deposits and can cause high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, muscle
weakness, swelling of the brain, and kidney damage; radium, a naturally
occurring radioactive (and carcinogenic) substance; and strontium, which is necessary in trace amounts for bone development, but in
too large amounts can disrupt it and cause cancer.
It is time to close the Halliburton Loophole. Please write
to your Congressional representative and your senators today and ask them to
reintroduce legislation to require the disclosure of what chemicals are being
used in fracking.
Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]