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After years of failure, fracking ban finally advances out of committee

A bill seeking to ban hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking,” in certain parts of the Commonwealth has passed the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources Committee and is slated to be heard by the full Senate.

SB 106 (Surovell) seeks to prohibit fracking in the Eastern Virginia Groundwater Management Area in an effort to better protect the Potomac Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to millions of Virginia residents.  Senator Scott Surovell and others have brought similar legislation in previous years, but it has failed to advance out of committee.

While representatives from Virginia Petroleum Council and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association contended that fracking could be conducted in a safe manner, ultimately it was the environmental community that won the day, as SB 106 was passed by a 10-5 vote.  The bill will likely be heard and voted on by the full Senate sometime next week.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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