WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - Oil and gas companies are exploiting federal loopholes to frack with cancer-causing petroleum-based products, a report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) said.
"Despite a federal ban on the use of diesel fuel in hydraulic fracturing without a permit, several oil and gas companies are exploiting a Safe Drinking Water Act loophole, pushed through by Halliburton to frack with petroleum-based products, containing even more dangerous toxic chemicals than diesel," a statement published on the watchdog's website Wednesday said.
The group found that one of the primary ingredients in fluids, used in fracking, contains a highly toxic chemical called benzene, which is more toxic than diesel fuel and harmful to drinking water supplies and public health.
According to the statement, permits are required for fracking with diesel fuel; however, companies can inject other petroleum products even more toxic than diesel without using a permit.
"This double standard illustrates what happens when Congress manipulates environmental statutes for the benefit of polluters, instead of allowing EPA [US Environmental Protection Agency] to make public health decisions based on the best available science," EIP Executive Director and former Director of Civil Enforcement at EPA Eric Schaeffer said in the statement.
Halliburton, the company that pushed for the 2005 loophole which exempts fracking from the requirements of the 1973 Safe Drinking Water Act is one of the largest fracking companies.
The study recommends that Congress should revise and repeal the 2005 loophole by advising the US Environmental Protection Agency to require safeguards for the Safe Drinking Water Act from using chemicals that contain large amounts of benzene and other toxic chemicals.