Legislation


This page is constantly being updated as new legislation is being introduced. If you know of legilsation at the local or state level that should be included, please email Katie Huffling with the information.

National

FRAC Act – The Frac Act introduced by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) and Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY) the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (FRAC Act) will:

  • Require disclosure of the chemical constituents used in the fracturing process.
  • Disclosure would be to the state, or to EPA, but only if EPA has primary enforcement responsibility in the state. The disclosures would then be made available to the public online.
  • Proprietary chemical formulas are protected under our bill – much like the way Coca-Cola must reveal the ingredients of Coke, but not their secret formula; oil and gas companies would have to reveal the chemicals but not the specific formula.
  • This bill does include an emergency provision that requires these proprietary chemical formulas to be disclosed to a treating physician, the State, or EPA in emergency situations where the information is needed to provide medical treatment.
  • Repeal a provision added to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 exempting the industry from complying with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), one of our landmark environmental and public health protection statutes.
  • Most states have primacy over these types of wells, and the intent of this Act is to allow states to ensure that our drinking water is safe. EPA would set the standard, but a state would be able to incorporate hydraulic fracturing into the existing permitting process for each well, and so this would not require any new permitting process.

 

BREATHE Act – (HR 1154) Introduced by US Rep Jared Polis (D-CO) and Matt Cartwright (D-PA) Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effects Act would close to  Clean Air Act and

Closes the under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) exemption: While some emissions requirements exist for individual wells, oil and gas drilling is exempted from aggregated “major source” requirements.

In practical terms, this would prompt the industry to follow NESHAP’s required use of best available and currently used emissions control technology—technology that the best actors of the industry are already using, and which has already proven to be profitable for the oil and gas industry in many instances.

Closes the Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) exemption: Hydrogen Sulfide, emitted from oil and gas operations, is a highly toxic gas which can lead to neurological impairment or even death and is currently exempt from regulation as a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act.  Originally included in the Clean Air Act’s list of hazardous air pollutants, H2S was removed with industry support.

 

CLEANER Act – Introduced by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-2). The Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion of Regulations (CLEANER) Act was introduced with 43 co-sponsors and endorsed by 137 organizations from across the country. It aims to eliminate a hazardous waste exemption that was added onto the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) in 1980.  That amendment, which exempted oil and gas companies from having to comply with hazardous waste disposal standards, would be removed under the CLEANER Act.

 

FRESHER Act – (HR 1175) – Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act (“FRESHER”) would close the loophole in the Clean Water Act (CWA) that endangers water quality near oil and gas production activities.  The CWA is the foundational law that protects American rivers, streams, wetlands, and other waterways from pollution. Under the CWA, a permit is required for large-scale, ground-disturbing activities that increase stormwater runoff and the risk of water pollution. This important permitting requirement, however, has been waived for oil and gas production, even though the runoff from oil and gas well pads and related infrastructure can be contaminated with dangerous pollutants. Such runoff can and has polluted waterways – degrading water quality, and damaging aquatic habitats.