Environment Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-237

Title:

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE STORAGE OR DISPOSAL OF FRACKING WASTE IN CONNECTICUT.

Vote Date:

3/7/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/28/2014

File No.:

125

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Environment Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

This bill is designed to prevent any storage or disposal of the byproducts created from hydraulic fracturing in other states, such as Pennsylvania.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

No testimony submitted. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection proposed and supports an alternate bill, HB 5308 AAC the Regulation of Fracking Waste.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

State Rep. Matthew Lesser:

Rep. Lesser supports the ban of fracking waste, stating that it contains a wide spectrum of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, saline products and sometimes radioactive materials.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg:

Rep. Steinberg supports SB 237 but believes the word “processing” should also be included. The state has “little choice in the matter” until the industry shows that it has adequate safeguards, technology and protocols, according to Steinberg.

Christopher Phelps, Environment Connecticut:

Environment Connecticut supports the bill, asserting that fracking byproducts are a “toxic soup” of chemicals that have contaminated drinking water, polluted the air and industrialized rural landscapes.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment:

Hydraulic fracturing for natural gas produces byproducts such as pollutants, salts, chemical additives, sulfuring acids, metals and others, according to CCE. They state that these substances result from chemicals added to water used in the process, combined with naturally occurring contaminates.

Citing media investigations and studies, CCE contends wastewater sent to Pennsylvania treatment facilities has resulted in downstream concentrations of chloride and bromide. It is their opinion that treatment may reduce, but has not eliminated, radioactive concentrations. CCE also states that uses such as de-icing and dust control have threatened natural resources. The state is not prepared to deal with this waste, according to CCE.

Rivers Alliance of Connecticut:

Rivers Alliance supports a ban. Fracking waste is not fully understood, treatments are limited and “disposal methods raise numerous concerns for health and the environment,” according to the group. Rivers Alliance also recommends some language changes to the bill.

Other organizations supporting the ban include:

The following organizations also submitted testimony support the bill: League of Women Voters of Connecticut; ConnPIRG; Ecological Health Organization; CT Fly Fisherman's Association; Connecticut Conference of United Church of Christ; HousatonicValley350.org; Environment and Human Health; Interreligious Eco-Justice Network; Connecticut Citizen Action Group; CT Northeast Organic Farming Association; Office of the Community Lawyer; ConnFACT; Connecticut Water Works Association; Food and Water Watch; Toxics Action Center; New Haven Environmental Justice Network; Farmington River Watershed Association; Washington (CT) Environmental Council; Save the Sound; the Watershed Partnership; Grassroots Environmental Education; Housatonic Valley Association; Collaborative Center for Justice, Inc.; Hartford Advisory Commission on the Environment; Town of Redding Planning Commission; People's Action for Clean Energy; and, Connecticut Fund for the Environment

Citizens supporting the ban include:

Debora Goldstein, Deirdre Doran, Theresa Velendzas, Wendy Skratt, Sam and Jill Callaway, Shirley McCarthy, Sister Rose Mary Sullivan, Alexandra Ferreira, Terry Nevas, Athena Coroneos, Lauralyn Lewis, Kimberly Gilbert, Julie Bailey, Jerry Gourd, Joanna Erickson, Carol Petursson, Charles W. Morgan, Christopher Paulin, Jody Wynn Rodiger, Kristen M. Pellizzari, Lori L. Cochran, Marcia Wilkins, Lynne Bonnett, Pilar Tillinger, Noreen P. Cullen, Roberta Reynolds, Mary Valencia, Richard Lindsey, Jen Huddleston, G. Mackenzie Gordon, Evan Abramson, Edwin Matthews, Monica Prihoda, Meredith Sampson, Mary Rickel Pelletier, Martha M. Smith, Matt Waggner, Lynette Dimock, Kyle Quine, Barbara Doyle, Suzanne Aubrey, Thomas Hooker Hanford, Arline B. Epstein, Steven and Catherine Carlson, Sunny Bosco, Stacy Prince, Nora L. Jamieson, Paul R. Frank, Philip Dooley, Roberta Silbert, Sean Corvino, Michele Martin, Charlotte Lindsey, Karen Stickler, Shannon Clarkson, Ellen J. Castaldini, Jennifer O'Neil Sarwar, Dorothy Lovett Buckley, Diana and Richard Blair, Debra Williams, Deborah Cady, Corey Tucker, Deborah Donne, Diane L. Wright, Edith Schade, George Bossers, Guy A. Peterson, Helen A. Jankoski, James Root, Jen Siskind, Jennifer O'Neil Sarwar, Jerry Jarombek, Joy Floyd, Katherine Wenning, Laurie Wetherbee, Liddy and John Baker, Linda Frank, Marcia Wilkins, Marge and David Schneider, Mark Stephens, Missy Stevens, George Boutin Jr., Richard Lindsey, Priscilla Connors, Joy Floyd, Anna Fabis, Bianca Langer Griggs, Bruce and Roberta Sullivan, Carmen Abramson, Carole Osborn, Charles McCaughtry, Christine and Peter Greenwood, David Cappello, Edward Hoffman, Hector and Eric Prud'homme, James DeCoster, Janet Hill, Jerry Travers, John Humphries, Kevin Ireton, Kristen Peckerman, Lauri Zarin, Liz Van Duyne, Mallie Mandel, Margaret Bisceglie, Mark Stephens, Elizabeth and Gil Aviles, Tom Cleveland, Charlotte Lindsey, Mary Valencia, Roberta Reynolds, Patrice Gillespie, Patricia O'Brien, Peter Talbot, Robert Mandel, Royal Graves, Susan Michael, Jean Vitalis, Michele Martin, Shannon Clarkson, Richard Segal, Russell Faller, Terri Tibbatts, The Page Family, Virginia Schneider, William and Barbara Taylor.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Connecticut Business and Industry Association:

Hydraulic fracturing is greatly contributing to America's energy needs, CBIA states. CBIA supports the state's ban on underground injection. However, states are working on ways to reduce fluids, and other studies have recommended incentives for recycling and reuse, so they ask why Connecticut would consider a ban. Treatment and proper discharge also may be viable options and, if this is the case, the state could work on pretreatment regulations. They also state that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of a studying the potential impacts of hydraulic fracking and potential treatment processes. The legislature could instruct CT DEEP to develop regulations and permit requirements for treatment, storage, recycling and reuse.

Robert Wood, AirWell H20:

Robert Wood said his company has made great strides with water purification technology and has done some initial testing with fracking wastewater. He feels his and/or other companies should have the opportunity to continue to develop this technology for improved health, environmental and business opportunities.

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB):

NFIB asserts that hydraulic fracturing has been critical for reliable and reasonably priced energy production. Any regulatory action should be “reasonable,” not hurt the state economically and avoid any potential unintended consequences.

Connecticut Petroleum Council:

According to the council, hydraulic fracturing has resulted in better energy production, lower prices and job creation. It believes a ban would prevent the possibility of treating or recycling in the state.

America's Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA):

Drilling companies are heavily regulated and waste is generally recycled or disposed of near the production sites, according to the ANGA. They believe that it is unlikely that any waste would make its way to Connecticut for disposal and a ban could have a chilling effect in nearby states.

Reported by: John Fitts

Date: 03/19/2014