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House legislation would lift fracking exemption from Safe Drinking Water Act

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House legislation would lift fracking exemption from Safe Drinking Water Act

Two Democratic members of the House Energy andCommerce Committee introduced amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act that includeremoving a regulatory exemption for fracking.

Among other changes, the amendment seeks to requirecompanies to disclose chemicals used in fracking and remove what is called the"Halliburton loophole," which exempted fracking from regulation underthe Underground Injection Control Program.

Operatorswould be obligated to provide a list of chemicals used in fracking operations,along with details such as volumes per chemical and material safety datasheets, according to the amendments.

The list would be made available to the public andsubmitted within 30 days after fracking operations commence, the document said.

If passed, the changes would be the first major updateto the act in 20 years and would clear "onerous procedural hurdles"that made it difficult for the U.S. EPA to set certain drinking waterstandards, according to a news release from the committee.

The proposal was led by Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.,D-N.J., ranking member of the committee, and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y.,ranking member of the committee's Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy.