Here are some of the legislative activities involving hydraulic fracturing while this study is in process.

Note: HB1389 is a hold over from last year. There has been no current activity with it, so it may truly be “dead”. However, “dead” bills have been know to come back to life so it is being kept on this list.

The most important bills at this time are HB1678, HB1679, SB 1291, and SB 1292. All of these deal with transparency related to the contents of fracking fluids.

Bills Tagged "hydraulic fracturing"

The bills filed in the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session that have been tagged with "hydraulic fracturing".

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; record exclusion for trade secrets submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. Excludes from the mandatory disclosure provisions of FOIA trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act ( 59.1-336 et seq.), submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as part of the required permit or permit modification to commence ground-disturbing activities. The bill provides that in order for such trade secrets to be excluded, the submitting party shall (i) invoke this exclusion upon submission of the data or materials for which protection from disclosure is sought, (ii) identify the data or materials for which protection is sought, and (iii) state the reasons why protection is necessary.

Status: Left in General Laws

Natural gas companies; right of entry. Requires that a natural gas company's notice to the owner of property of the company's intent to enter upon the property set forth the "specific" date of the intended entry. Currently, a company's notice of intent to enter is required to set forth the date of the intended entry.

Status: Stricken from docket by Commerce and Labor

Virginia Oil and Gas Act; sampling and replacing contaminated wells. Increases from 750 feet to 1,320 feet the radius of surface lands around gas wells on which gas well operators (i) have a right to enter and obtain water samples from water wells and (ii) are required to replace contaminated water supplies.

Status: G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0017)

Orphaned Well Fund; surcharge. Raises from $50 to $200 the surcharge to be paid by a gas or oil operator for a permit to conduct any activity other than geophysical operations. The bill contains technical amendments.

Status: G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0018)

Mineral mines reclamation; bonds and liens. Increases, from a range of $200 to $1,000 per acre to a fixed amount of $3,000 per acre, the mandatory bond amount furnished by operators on miningland. The bill grants the Commonwealth a lien on property owned by the operator and reclaimed by the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and sets out the process by which the Director shall perfect or waive the lien.

Status: G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0004)

Well permit applications; disclosure of trade secrets. Authorizes the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (Department) to require disclosure of chemical ingredient names, chemical abstracts numbers, or the amount or concentration of chemicals or ingredients used to stimulate a well notwithstanding exclusion from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act as a trade secret. The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (Director) to disclose such information to additional Department staff or state or local officials to assist the Department in responding to an emergency. The bill prohibits such individuals from disseminating such information further. The bill requires the Director to notify the party that submitted the trade secret of disclosure as soon as practicable. The bill prohibits orders issued pursuant to 45.1-361.27 from including trade secret information.

Status: Stricken at request of Patron in Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources (9-Y 0-N)

Discharge of deleterious substance into state waters; notice. Requires any person who unlawfully discharges any deleterious substance into state waters to give written notice to the State Water Control Board. Current law requires written notice to be given only to the Department of Environmental Quality. The bill also requires the Board or the Department to give the reported discharge information to local newspapers, television stations, and radio stations as soon as practicable after receiving it.

Status: Left in Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources

Well permit applications; disclosure of trade secrets. Authorizes the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy (Department) to require disclosure of chemical ingredient names, chemical abstracts numbers, or the amount or concentration of chemicals or ingredients used to stimulate a well notwithstanding exclusion from mandatory disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act as a trade secret. The bill authorizes the Director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (Director) to disclose such information to additional Department staff or state or local officials to assist the Department in responding to an emergency. The bill prohibits such individuals from disseminating such information further. The bill requires the Director to notify the party that submitted the trade secret of disclosure as soon as practicable. The bill prohibits orders issued pursuant to 45.1-361.27 from including trade secret information.

Status: Failed to report (defeated) in Finance (8-Y 8-N)

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); trade secrets submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. Excludes from the mandatory disclosure provisions of FOIA trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act ( 59.1-336 et seq.), submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy that identify chemical ingredient names, the chemical abstracts number for a chemical ingredient, or the amount or concentration of chemicals or ingredients used to stimulate a well pursuant to 45.1-361.29 or Department regulations concerning such ground-disturbing activities. The bill requires that for such records to be protected, the submitting party must (i) invoke this FOIA exclusion upon submission of the data or materials for which protection from disclosure is sought, (ii) identify the data or materials for which protection is sought, and (iii) state the reasons why protection is necessary. The bill requires the Department to determine whether the information claimed to be a trade secret is entitled to such protection.

Status: Failed to report (defeated) in Finance (8-Y 8-N)

Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); trade secrets submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. Excludes from the mandatory disclosure provisions of FOIA trade secrets, as defined in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act ( 59.1-336 et seq.), submitted to the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy that identify chemical ingredient names, the chemical abstracts number for a chemical ingredient, or the amount or concentration of chemicals or ingredients used to stimulate a well pursuant to 45.1-361.29 or Department regulations concerning such ground-disturbing activities. The bill requires that for such records to be protected, the submitting party must (i) invoke this FOIA exclusion upon submission of the data or materials for which protection from disclosure is sought, (ii) identify the data or materials for which protection is sought, and (iii) state the reasons why protection is necessary. The bill requires the Department to determine whether the information claimed to be a trade secret is entitled to such protection.

Status: Fiscal impact review from JLARC (HB1678E)