Lugar de Noticias Haynes and Boone
Senate Bill Seeks Required Disclosure of Chemicals in Fracking Fluid
Elizabeth E. Klingensmith
Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey reintroduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act in Senate Bill S. 587 on March 15, 2011. The proposed legislation would repeal hydraulic fracturing's exemption under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Under the Bush Administration, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 amended SDWA to preclude the EPA from regulating hydraulic fracturing. If enacted, SDWA's definition of “underground injection” would be made to include fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process. Additionally, the law would require disclosure of the chemical additives in fracking fluid. Proprietary chemical formulas would not be subject to disclosure unless use of the formula is necessary for medical treatment. Disclosure of the chemical additives would be made publicly available online and to regulatory agencies. Companion legislation (H.R. 1084) was also introduced in the House of Representatives.
As published in the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Energy Litigation News & Developments on March 18, 2011.