HB 1678 (Robinson) is scheduled to be considered by the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee when it meets 45 minutes after adjournment of the Senate on February 13. This measure is one of two bills opposed by VACo that establish “trade secret” status for chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing process. The other bill, HB 1679 (Robinson), has been referred to the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee, which will hold its next scheduled meeting 30 minutes after adjournment on February 16.
Last week, two Senate companion bills, SB 1291 (Chafin) and SB 1292 (Chafin), were defeated in the Senate Finance Committee by 8-8 votes following testimony by Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward. She contended that both bills would impose a substantial fiscal impact upon state government.
With supporters of the two House bills working actively to have them pass in the Senate, VACo is urging county officials to contact members of both the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee to oppose HB 1678 and the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee to oppose HB 1679.
- In cases of emergencies resulting from the process of hydraulic fracturing, first responders and medical care professionals may need timely information about chemicals used in the fracking process.
- In the process of evaluating requests for permits to allow for a fracking operation, local government officials would benefit by having fuller knowledge of these chemicals during the pre-application meetings required under DMME regulations.
- Knowledge of chemicals used in the fracking process would help protect groundwater supplies.
Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee: Stuart (Chairman), Hanger, Ruff, Obenshain, Petersen, Marsden, Stanley, Black, Ebbin, Lewis, Chafin, Dance, Suetterlein, Mason, McClellan
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VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE