Summary

A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes. Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Mar 15, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text

A BILL

To amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act'' or the ``FRAC Act''.

SEC. 2. REGULATION OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING.

(a) Underground Injection.--Section 1421(d) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h(d)) is amended by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following: ``(1) Underground injection.-- ``(A) In general.--The term `underground injection' means the subsurface emplacement of fluids by well injection. ``(B) Inclusion.--The term `underground injection' includes the underground injection of fluids or propping agents pursuant to hydraulic fracturing operations relating to oil or gas production activities. ``(C) Exclusion.--The term `underground injection' does not include the underground injection of natural gas for the purpose of storage.''. (b) Disclosure.--Section 1421(b) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (42 U.S.C. 300h(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(4) Disclosures of chemical constituents.-- ``(A) In general.--A person conducting hydraulic fracturing operations shall disclose to the State (or to the Administrator, in any case in which the Administrator has primary enforcement responsibility in a State), by not later than such deadlines as shall be established by the State (or the Administrator)-- ``(i) before the commencement of any hydraulic fracturing operations at any lease area or a portion of a lease area, a list of chemicals...

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Nation

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0 Opposing
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State: CA

4 Supporting
0 Opposing
100% 0%

District: 1st

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Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

Restoring the Safe Drinking Water Act's authority over hydraulic fracturing would help to protect groundwater supplies and the nation's fisheries by requiring the disclosure of substances used in hydraulic fracturing fluids and federal regulation of fracturing injections. Hydraulic fracturing is a commonly-used method to extract natural gas in which a solution of water, sand and chemicals is injected into underground rock formations at high pressure. Over the past year, we have been reminded of the toxicity of these solutions by multiple fish kills in Pennsylvania following fluid spills. Contaminated water wells have been found near drilling operations in Alabama, Wyoming, and other states. In light of the risk associated with hydraulic fracturing, and the importance of protecting America's drinking water supplies and maintaining the quality of our water resources, it makes little sense to exempt this practice from the very law created to safeguard against such impacts. https://online.nwf.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1181

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The FRAC Act would do the following: - Require disclosure of the chemicals used in the process of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction, but not the proprietary chemical formula. Disclosures would be made available to the public online. - Protect proprietary chemical formulas– 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. - Enact an emergency provision requiring 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 natural gas wells, and the intent of the FRAC 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. Passage of the FRAC Act will face an ever rockier road ahead than it did in the last Congress. However, it is essential that the exclusions and loopholes for oil and gas are removed from all environmental legislation to ensure our rivers and communities are protected. The FRAC Act would be a good first step towards that goal. http://www.americanrivers.org/newsroom/blog/frac-act-re-introduced-in-congress-3-24-2011.html

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American Rivers 3 years ago

The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act would close oil and gas industry loopholes in the Safe Drinking Water Act and require disclosure of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing.

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Earthjustice 3 years ago

A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes.

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Agent Orange Legacy 3 years ago

A bill to amend the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal a certain exemption for hydraulic fracturing, and for other purposes.

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Organizations Opposing

"The natural gas community is committed to the safe and responsible development of this abundant American energy source. That is why ANGA, along with other leading industry trade associations, has stepped forward to support disclosure on a well-by-well basis on both public and private lands. This disclosure will be occurring through an online public registry that is being developed by the Ground Water Protection Council and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. We do not support pre-empting their important effort with new federal regulations." http://www.anga.us/media-room/press-releases/2011/03/anga-statement-on-the-introduction-of-the-frac-act

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“The fundamental problem with the bill is that it’s based on fundamentally incorrect information. Its backers say it’s meant to ‘restore’ EPA regulation over hydraulic fracturing under the Safe Drinking Water Act, even though SDWA has never in its 37 years been used for that purpose. Its backers say it’s about forcing companies to disclose the composition of the 0.05 percent of the solution that’s not water and sand, even though just about every state regulatory agency in the country will attest that such information is already available. And its backers say that EPA itself won’t be directly involved in the permitting process, even though states such as Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan don’t even enjoy primacy under SDWA. “Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most critical processes that occurs at the wellsite; it’s also among the most stringently regulated. With this technology, it’s possible that literally quadrillions of cubic feet of clean-burning natural gas can be rendered available for American consumers in the future, resources that would otherwise be too deep and diffuse to access. It’s a technology that’s been around a long time, stretching all the way back to the Truman administration. But it’s also a technology that’s never been more important to our nation’s economic and environmental future than it is today. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, it became a victim of its own success. If hydraulic fracturing weren’t as patently effective as it is, it’s tough to imagine it’d be as strangely controversial as it has become.” http://www.ipaa.org/news/wr/2011/WR-2011-03-17.pdf

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Users Supporting

I support S. 587: FRAC Act because... I am a high school senior that is concerned for our U.S. watersheds. Clearly we there are problems with fracking that cause our water to be polluted. If the act is reintroduced it would give chance to the many people that are being affected from natural gas production. If no one takes note of the damages, there will be no way to turn around the mess the natural gas company's have made. As long as our people not getting fresh clean water, also the fisheries are being harmed. Please understand that I am fully behind the reintroduction of the bill at hand.

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CA
6
lkalokerinos
CA-6
2 years ago

I support S. 587: FRAC Act because what it seeks to do could save our country. There is enough evidence to support that hydraulic fracturing is harmful not only to our water and air, but as an extension harmful to our people. The fact that it was necessary to exempt the process from the Safe Drinking Water Act- an act put in place in order to protect public health - only goes to show that it is far from safe. I understand that America is in need of great sources of energy, and hydraulic fracturing is at the moment the easiest method of obtaining that energy. However, we have available to us several other sources of energy that we have yet to explore as major energy sources, solar power to name one. These may cost our nation more initially, but what are these costs weighed against the cost of our nation's health that hydraulic fracturing will make us pay? It might be going too far to say it will be the end of us, but the fact is that many people have had to pay for this mistake already, and I'm sure many more are to come if the regulations proposed by this bill are not put in to place.

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CA
7
Claire94
CA-7
2 years ago

I support S. 587: FRAC Act because the government has a duty to protect its people and we're not being protected. Fracking has ruined parts of our environment, and some of our citizens health. These people deserve to be helped. We have a right to our health and to know what can destroy it. Natural gas is suppose to help us, but the improper practices and disposal methods have undone any benefits we could reap.

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CA
7
MexicanGoddessoftheOwls
CA-7
2 years ago

I support S. 587: FRAC Act because I believe it is a step toward more strict regulation of hydraulic fracturing. When the information on what chemicals are being used in this process is released, people will realize the dangers of these chemicals contaminating our water and air and reconsider the exemptions from the Safe Drinking Water Act. If the information is already available as the Independent Petroleum Association of America claims, they should have no problem with it being officially released. They are afraid of regulation, however, because their business could suffer. That fear is understandable, but the health of our people and our earth should be our primary concern. There are cleaner ways to create energy; our focus should be on those methods. Not the destructive and harmful methods such as fracking.

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CA
7
erfoote
CA-7
2 years ago

Users Opposing

No constituents opposing yet.

Bill Summary

S. 586 Congressional Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011 S. 588 Marcellus Shale On-the-Job Training Act of 2011