California’s proposed law (AB 591) to address hydraulic fracturing (fracking) passed a second hurdle, being voted out 5-1 from the state Senate Environmental Quality Committee (EQ). The measure has been sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee, but no hearing date has been set. AB 591’s author, Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, told EQ that the proposal is a “modest” attempt to provide state regulators in the Division of Oil and Gas with added information on fracking. Wieckowski emphasized that fracking in some form has been around for the past 50 years in California, but only recently has the oil/gas sector begun to use more sophisticated techniques that carry greater potential impact on the state’s water quality. The bill is aimed at chemical disclosure for operators using the fracking process and comes at a time that Wieckowski said “several reports” from the oil/gas industry have indicated California is on the “cusp of a boom” in unconventional oil/gas recovery because of drilling technique advancement, such as fracking. Chemicals used and sources and amounts of water in the fracking process will be disclosed as a result of AB 591, Wieckowski said.
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