On February 13, HB 1678 (Robinson) was rejected on an 8-6 vote by the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee. VACo opposed the bill, which would have established procedures for the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to approve “trade secret” status for certain chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” Earlier in the session, the Senate companion to HB 1678, SB 1292 (Chafin), was defeated on an 8-8 vote by the Senate Finance Committee.
The final surviving bill opposed by VACo relating to trade secret status for “fracking” chemicals is HB 1679 (Robinson). The chief provision of HB 1679 identifies conditions under which trade secret information may be disclosed in certain emergency situations. HB 1679 is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee on the afternoon of February 16, 30 minutes after adjournment of the Senate floor session. The House companion measure to HB 1679 was SB 1291 (Chafin), which was also defeated by the Senate Finance Committee on an 8-8 vote.
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VACo Contact: Larry Land, CAE