Two Hydraulic Fracturing Related Bills Introduced

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Rep. Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the “Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation” (FRESHER) Act on March 14, which would remove a provision in the Clean Water Act (CWA), added by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, that exempts oil and gas sites from stormwater permitting requirements. The exemption applies to all uncontaminated runoff from oil and gas sites of any acreage. The FRESHER Act, if passed, would also require the Department of Interior (DOI) to study the impact of stormwater from oil and gas sites on surface water, groundwater and drinking water.

The “Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act” was also introduced on March 14 by Rep. Polis (D-CO), would remove a so-called “loophole” from the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) aggregation provision. This loophole designates each well site as an individual source of a pollutant, rather than taking into account all well sites in a specific area. The BREATHE Act would also add hydrogen sulfide to the CAA’s list of hazardous air pollutants.