Potential Criminal Penalties for Disclosure of Fracking Fluid Trade Secrets

Unknown-1The North Carolina legislature has introduced  a bill that, among other things, would impose criminal penaties to those persons that publicly disclose fracking chemicals that are deemed trade secrets.   There are numerous exceptions to the bill, such as allowing doctors and first responders to obtain such trade secret information during emergencies.   

In most jurisdictions that permit and regulate hydraulic fracturing, a number of chemical ingredients are recognized as industry trade secrets exempt from public disclosure.   North Carolina’s proposed law is among the most progressive in protecting the industry’s trade secrets.  Notably, however, the bill has its share of critics due to the criminal component.  The bill is similar to Pennsylvania’s disclosure laws in that it envisions disclosure of trade secrets to doctors and emergency responders who may need to treat patients for exposure. 

Hydraulic fracturing companies are permitted to apply  for trade secret status from the state.  

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