CS/CS/HB 1205 Regulation of Oil and Gas Resources
CS/CS/HB 1209 Pub. Rec./High-Pressure Well Stimulation Chemical Disclosure Registry
The full House will consider both Fracking bills on Friday with the aim of rolling them over to a third and final reading early next week. Keep those calls and emails coming! Calls are best as they’re harder to delete. Be friendly and brief, but make it clear you are a Florida voter and you don’t want fracking. When you call your Representative make sure whoever answers the phone knows you live in their District. Give them your zip code or a landmark they’ll recognize. Get their name.
These bills delay or prevent disclosure of toxic chemicals until after the damage is done. DEP and FracFocus are not allowed to tell the public what’s being used if the well operator has claimed the ingredients are “proprietary business information” - trade secrets.
If a citizen wants to know what chemicals are being used they have to ask DEP. Then they have to wait while DEP gives the well owner 30 days to file an action in circuit court seeking an order barring disclosure. Then they have to wait for the well owner to get a court date, and for any continuances, and for any appeals. The information cannot be released until the legal process is finished. This means a family cannot find out what chemicals may threaten them until after the chemicals may already be in their water. If they’re lucky(?) they’ll find out a long while afterwards.
Local governments are preempted from acting to protect the citizens by regulating fracking in their jurisdictions.
The definition of “high pressure well stimulation” excludes activities like the ones at the Collier-Hogan well in 2013-14. Any time chemicals are injected into the ground that might get into the water supply people in the community have a right to know what they are.
While the bill contains a study (which is a tacit acknowledgment that the State does not have enough information about fracking) there is no provision for a moratorium on the practice until the study is completed.
You can look up your Representative by entering your address at this link for Florida House or better yet, contact them all.