Marcellus Shale producers in Pennsylvania would have to report wastewater produced from their wells -- including fluids from hydraulic fracturing operations -- to state regulators under legislation that cleared a state House committee Tuesday.
On a largely bipartisan vote the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee approved the measure, which was introduced by Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne).
In July prior to introducing the measure Mundy told fellow lawmakers the measure would build on Act 15 of 2010, which the governor signed earlier this year, requiring Marcellus well operators to report gas well production data to the state's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on a semiannual basis.
The wastewater legislation, which would amend the state's Oil and Gas Act of 1984, "expand[s] this law to cover wastewater, including frac water, produced by Marcellus Shale gas wells," Mundy said. "This information would also be reported on a semiannual basis and, in turn, DEP would be required to make this information available to the public on its website."
Mundy described the measure as providing "cradle to grave" tracking of well wastewater. "By making this information public and transparent, the system will promote public confidence that well operators are following the law regarding the treatment and disposition of brine and other wastes from Marcellus Shale wells."
In other action Tuesday the committee also approved a resolution sponsored by Mundy that urges Congress to pass a bill by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) that calls for increased disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid (see Daily GPI, June 10, 2009). Some producers, such as Chief Oil & Gas LLC, Range Resources Corp. and EQT Corp., have already stepped up with plans for voluntary disclosure (see Daily GPI, Sept. 3; Aug. 13; July 30).
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