HB 1679 (Robinson) was stricken from the February 21 docket of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee. This was the last surviving bill that would have provided “trade secret” status for certain chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing. The other three defeated bills were HB 1678 (Robinson), SB 1291 (Chafin) and SB 1292 (Chafin). VACo opposed all four bills.
Regulations recently promulgated by the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy have provisions that allow for chemicals used in the “fracking” process to receive “trade secret” status. However, under the regulations, the trade secret status of such chemicals is not protected through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions that would have been established had the bills passed the General Assembly.
VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE