Florida House passes bill requiring disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids

In our April 16th blog post, Florida lawmaker proposes bills requiring disclosure of hydraulic fracturing fluids, we discussed two bills before the Florida House of Representatives requiring the disclosure of fluids used in hydraulic fracturing operations.

On April 24, 2013, one of the bills, H.B. 743, knowing as “the Fracturing Chemical Usage and Disclosure Act,” passed by a 92-19 vote. The bill requires owners and operators of wells on which hydraulic fracturing is performed to disclose the chemicals used to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), which would then post them to FracFocus.org, a national chemistry registry website. The bill is largely preemptive, as Florida lacks major tight oil and gas plays that would require hydraulic fracturing. The bill has now been sent to the Florida Senate, where it was referred to the Senate’s Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee.

The bill’s companion measure, H.B. 745, was temporarily postponed after it was criticized for contradicting many of the requirements in H.B. 743. The bill proposes to exempt trade secrets involving hydraulic fracturing from the public records requirements H.B. 743. No official reason was given for the postponement.

This article was prepared by Lauren Brogdon (lbrogdon@fulbright.com or 713 651 5375) from Fulbright’s Litigation Practice Group.