On Monday, Assembly Members amended two bills relating to hydraulic fracturing – one increasing the scope of regulated activities and another allowing trade secret protection of related disclosures. Assembly Member Levine amended AB 288, which originally proposed requiring operators to obtain a permit specific to fracking (see March 8, 2013, post), to expand the permit requirement to all types of well stimulation, specifically including fracking and acid stimulation.
In contrast, Assembly Member Wieckowski amended AB 7 to (1) allow for trade secret protection of information relating to disclosure of fracking operations and (2) exclude the mandate to Department of Conservation’s Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to implement fracking regulations by 2014. AB 7 would still require operators to disclose the chemicals and volumes of water used in their fracking activities. See the blog post on December 9, 2012, for further details on AB 7 as originally introduced.
Also this week, Senator Pavley’s amended SB 4 passed the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The amended bill would require a permit specific to fracking and notification to affected property owners. The bill would also mandate a study on the impact of fracking before 2015 and prohibit the issuance of any permits from that time until the study is completed. See the blog post on March 28, 2013, for further details on SB 4. Lawmakers supporting the bill indicate that it would fill some of the gaps they see in the DOGGR’s draft fracking regulations. See the blog post on December 19, 2012, for further details on DOGGR’s discussion draft of its fracking rules.