Senate Bill 875 (Bartolotta-R-Fayette) encouraging the reusing of abandoned mine water for drilling operations was given final approval by the Senate Tuesday and now goes to Gov. Wolf for his action.
The bill clarifies legal liabilities associated with the use of treated mine water in oil and gas operations.
The use of treated mine water holds the potential to significantly decrease the use of fresh water in the natural gas extraction process, reducing the withdrawal demand on Pennsylvania rivers, lakes and streams.
Sen. Bartolotta, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, emphasized that her legislation would not weaken any existing environmental safeguards designed to protect public health. It would only clarify parties that could be held responsible if the mine water is not treated or utilized properly.
“Using treated mine water in natural gas operations is an innovative and environmentally responsible practice,” Sen. Bartolotta said. “Clearing up this gray area in terms of liability will pave the way for more companies to explore this alternative.”A summary and House Fiscal Note are available.