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Wyoming settlement: Companies must justify shielding fracking chemicals as trade secrets

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CHEYENNE, Wyoming — A legal settlement will require petroleum companies to provide justification when they ask Wyoming regulators to withhold from the public details about the chemical products they pump underground.

Last year, the Wyoming Supreme Court sided with a landowners group and against Wyoming regulators in a lawsuit that sought public disclosure of the ingredients in those products.

A state district court judge approved a settlement Friday that requires companies to provide detailed justification when they claim the ingredients are trade secrets.

At issue are chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, the process of pumping water mixed with sand and chemical products into wells to crack open oil and gas deposits.

Tom Kropatsch with the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission says the settlement will allow the agency to process backlogged trade-secret requests.

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