BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho legislative panel on Monday approved regulations for natural gas drilling. The Senate Resources and Environment Committee’s vote concluded two days of public hearings on rule changes recommended by the Idaho Department of Lands.
Several speakers asked the committee to ban the use of cancer-causing chemicals. Gas drilling proposed for western Idaho would inject chemicals into the ground as part of the process.
Several western Idaho residents who testified said they were unhappy that the proposed rules could prevent them from finding out which chemicals are used in drilling for gas.
The State of Idaho’s public records law requires full disclosure of all information the state has. But there are exceptions.
Erik Wilson with the Idaho Department of Lands said the state would make the chemical compounds available to the public unless the drilling company claimed they should be kept secret from rival businesses.
“But if something is designated as a trade secret and it meets the definition. That would supersede the public writings act - there is nothing we can do in the rule to get around that.”
Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise, said he supports the rule with some reservation. The proposal now goes to the full House and Senate for approval. Additional regulations for gas drilling also await final legislative action.
Here is the conversation in full Erik Wilson had with Reporter Aaron Kunz.
Congrats to David James for his winning submission, 'Annabella smelling the Balsam.'
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