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coverextracting the facts: an investor guide to disclosing risks from hydraulic fracturing operations

Richard A. Liroff
December 2011

This guide offers best practice recommendations to energy companies for reporting and reducing risks and impacts from natural gas operations in shale relying on hydraulic fracturing (commonly referred to as "fracking"). The guide can be a resource for companies responding to the Securities and Exchange Commission's growing interest in the environmental risks from fracturing operations, especially chemical and water management, and assists companies seeking to implement a November 2011 Department of Energy advisory panel recommendation that companies "adopt a more visible commitment to using quantitative measures as a means of achieving best practice". The guide suggests goals, practices and indicators, providing existing examples from numerous companies.
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The guide is organized around 12 core goals and supporting practices and indicators. These include:

1. Manage risks transparently and at Board level
2. Reduce surface footprint
3. Assure well integrity
4. Reduce and disclose all toxic chemicals
5. Protect water quality by rigorous monitoring
6. Minimize fresh water use
7. Prevent contamination from waste water
8. Minimize and disclose air emissions
9. Prevent contamination from solid waste and sludge residuals
10. Assure best in class contractor performance
11. Secure community consent
12. Disclose fines, penalties and litigation