The Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental & Public Health Law (PJEPHL) is the youngest scholarly publication at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. PJEPHL seeks to inspire awareness and to inform the bar and legal scholars about an array of current environmental and public health issues through its biannual, online publication. Having the benefit of being located in the centrifuge of Pennsylvania's oil and gas development, as well as in a city with a highly regarded medical system, PJEPHL articles and annual symposia seek to capitalize upon the region's specialty. It is produced by students, and aims to publish excellent academic scholarship.
RSVP NOW FOR "Act 13 in 3-D: Drilling, Doctors, and Disclosure"
February 28, 2013
Generously sponsored in part by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law & Burns White LLC.
On February 14, 2012, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed Act 13 into law as the most recent amendment to the Oil and Gas Act, creating a comprehensive Marcellus Shale legislative package. Within Act 13 lies the hotly contested "Chemical Disclosure Provision" that requires oil and gas well operators to publicly disclose the chemical constituents and respective concentrations found within their hydraulic fracturing fluid, barring trade secret protection. However, this protection will be waived if the chemical information is needed for medical treatment purposes in the event of a spill or release. The provision then binds the recipient of this information with a confidentiality agreement.
This provision, termed by some as the "medical gag order," has generated significant debate across the board of several industries. This symposium will provide a neutral venue for an in-depth panel discussion by proponents and opponents of the bill on behalf of the oil and gas, public health, legal, and environmental industries. Topics that will be covered include the proprietary value of these chemical recipes, the provision's place in state-wide energy considerations, constitutional challenges, best management practices, the impact of the confidentiality agreements upon emergency preparedness, and more. Speakers will be invited to express their positions on the provision in light of their experience and to consider whether or not these seemingly divergent interests can be reconciled through future judicial and agency action.