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June 18, 2013 > Fracking bill defeated

Fracking bill defeated

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski's comprehensive public disclosure bill to regulate fracking in California was defeated in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on a 3-0 vote, two short of the five-vote majority needed for approval, on June 12, 2013. The bill, AB 7, was rejected even though Wieckowski took several amendments requested by committee members and pledged to continue discussions on six other points raised by the committee.

"I have worked for two-and-a-half years with environmentalists, the industry, legislators, staff and the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources to provide more public disclosure on hydraulic fracturing in California because I believe the public has a right to know about this process and we need to make sure our environment and the public health are protected," Wieckowski said. "Unfortunately, in the end, the goal posts kept on moving and there was a never-ending demand to take more amendments."

AB 7 would have required all oil operators to provide a complete list of every chemical used in fracking; the maximum concentration; the purpose for the chemical; separate justification for each trade secret claim; how much water is used; the type of water used; the disposition of the fluid once the fracking is complete; baseline groundwater monitoring before and after fracking; pre-notification to the Division of Oil Gas and Geothermal Resources; pre-notification to property owners and neighboring landowners who live within 1,500 feet from the wellhead prior to the commencing of fracking; a wastewater discharge report filed with the regional water quality control board prior to drilling.

"We all saw some fracking bills defeated on the floor of the Assembly," Wieckowski said. "I agreed to take two amendments that I thought would strengthen the bill without jeopardizing its chances of passage but once it went to committee everyone wanted another bite at the apple."

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