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Frack Water Liability Laundering Act

Here in Fayette County our state senator is Richard Kasunic. Senator Kasunic has introduced a very troubling bill, SB411. The bill is well intentioned. It is designed to help clean up our mine waste water problem, which we all in Fayette County know is a serious issue. Senator Kasunic’s bill would create an incentive for the oil and gas industry to use mine waste water in hydraulic fracturing operations by removing the threat of liability. You can read what Senator Kasunic has to say about the bill here. This bill is moving through the Senate very fast.

Unfortunately, the liability protection in this bill is so strong that it stays with the frack water permanently. The risk is obvious. Any frack water dumped illegally into a mine could be recycled through hydraulic fracturing, and the frackers would be protected by the bill as currently drafted from liability for anything that goes wrong with using that water. This liability protection is too strong. It runs the risk of turning every abandoned mine drainage problem in Pennsylvania into a frack water liability laundering site. The bill should be called the Frack Water Liability Laundering Act.

For an informed analysis of the problems of this bill, please read this.

This bill needs to be opposed.

UPDATE: Thanks to an enormous public outcry, SB411 has been tabled. That means it has been slowed down but not stopped. I am hearing word that other senators want to offer amendments. Please stay tuned on this issue. We are likely to need a lot more public pressure to kill this bill. Before being tabled, it had passed First Consideration and was on the Calendar for Second Consideration. Third Consideration has been known to happen the day after Second Consideration, so the outcry on this bill came just in time.

For a news article on the tabling of this bill, please see:

Environmentalists Throw Cold Water on Efforts to Amend Good Samaritan Act