Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is implementing new policies through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that will require more transparency from fracking companies.

According to a press release, the new policies will require operators to publicly disclose the chemicals they use in drilling and hydraulic fracturing earlier in the well development process.

This is the next step in the Shapiro Administration's work to address climate change and Pennsylvanians' rights to clean air and pure water while still maintaining the commonwealth's legacy as a national energy leader.

The details of which chemicals an operator is using are in companies' site-specific Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency (PPC) plans. 

Originally, PPC plans were required to be submitted to the DEP only upon request. Now, the DEP will require the submission of unconventional well operators' site-specific PPC plans prior to drilling.

Moving forward these plans will be posted online by the DEP upon receipt.

"As Attorney General and now as Governor, I have listened to Pennsylvanians concerned about their health and safety? and I am delivering on the promise I made to them to secure these protections. My Administration is setting a new standard for Pennsylvania natural gas to be produced in a responsible, sustainable way and showing how we can bring people together to get things done," Shapiro said.

In addition, Governor Shapiro has also directed the DEP to take action to pursue formal rulemaking and policy changes mirroring the collaboration including:

- Improved control of methane emissions aligned with the EPA's recently announced performance standards for emission sources in the oil and natural gas sector

- Stronger drilling waste protections

- Including inspection of secondary containment

- Corrosion protections for gathering lines that transport natural gas

"By requiring?unconventional gas?companies to make their PPC plans publicly available, Pennsylvanians will have a clearer picture of the types of chemicals being used on unconventional well sites earlier in the process," said DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley.

To inform unconventional operators of the new process, DEP will include the new request in every cover letter attached to unconventional well permits as of January 3, 2024.

DEP has also notified unconventional operators and industry groups.