OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6329 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING HYDRAULIC FRACTURING WASTE IN CONNECTICUT.

SUMMARY

This bill, with a limited exception for research, permanently bans collecting, storing, handling, transporting, disposing, and using hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) waste in Connecticut (see BACKGROUND). Under current law, these activities are banned only until the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner adopts regulations to, among other things, control fracking waste as hazardous waste. The bill removes his authority to adopt such regulations.

*House Amendment “A” restores a provision in existing law that allows research in Connecticut on a limited amount of fracking waste with the DEEP commissioner's approval.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

FRACKING WASTE BAN

Under the bill, no person, including an individual, business, or political subdivision of the state, may:

1. accept, receive, collect, store, treat, transfer, or dispose of fracking waste;

2. collect or transport fracking waste for receipt, acceptance, or transfer in the state; or

3. sell, offer, barter, manufacture, distribute, or use an anti-icing, de-icing, pre-wetting, or dust suppression product derived from or containing fracking waste.

The bill eliminates a provision that allows a person to collect or transport fracking waste if the person obtains a DEEP permit before bringing the waste into the state.

RESEARCH EXCEPTION

The bill maintains a provision in existing law that allows certain fracking waste research to be conducted in the state. Under the law, DEEP may approve up to three requests to treat up to 330 gallons of fracking waste for research purposes or a single person to treat up to 500 gallons. The research must be for determining whether fracking waste can be made suitable for use or reuse.

Under current law, this research exception exists only until the commissioner adopts fracking waste regulations. The bill removes his authority to adopt fracking waste regulations and imposes no time parameters on the research exception.

BACKGROUND

Fracking Waste

Fracking waste includes wastewater, wastewater solids, brine, sludge, drill cuttings, or any other substance used or generated in the fracking process.

Fracking is the process of pumping fluid into or under the surface of the ground to create fractures in rock for natural gas exploration, development, production, or recovery. It does not include drilling or repairing a geothermal water well or any other well drilled or repaired for drinking water purposes.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

29

Nay

0

(03/22/2017)