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Wyoming High Court Questions Ruling Against Fracking Chemical Disclosure

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WYOMING FRACKING
Opponents of hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' hold placards during a rally in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, on September 25, 2013 in Washington, DC. | MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Supreme Court is telling a lower court to reconsider whether the public has the right to know the ingredients in the chemical products used to facilitate hydraulic fracturing.

A judge had ruled that the chemical ingredients are shielded from disclosure as corporate trade secrets, but the state Supreme Court remanded the case Wednesday on a technicality.

Oil and gas developers employ hydraulic fracturing to boost production. The technique pumps water, sand and chemicals into wells to fracture open oil- and gas-bearing rock deposits.

Wyoming was the first state to require disclosure of frack fluid ingredients to state regulators. Those regulators since have honored companies' requests to guard their competitive advantage by not publicly releasing the ingredients.

Environmentalists say knowing the ingredients could help landowners test for groundwater contamination.

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