“Frack Pack” bills introduced in House to improve oil and gas development oversight

Straight flush of bills to close special oil & gas industry loopholes in federal laws

Washington, D.C., March 17 — Today Representatives Cartwright, DeGette, Polis, and Schakowsky introduced a suite of bills that would close existing oil and gas industry loopholes in several major federal environmental laws.

“These bills would end special treatment for the oil and gas industry and instead regulate it just like every other major industrial activity,” said Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel. She continued, “By closing loopholes in major environmental laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Frack Pack would better safeguard our air, water, and public health from oil and gas pollution.”

The Frack Pack consists of:

  • FRAC (Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act) – Industries that inject toxic pollution through or near drinking water aquifers must comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, except for the oil and gas industry. The FRAC Act, sponsored by Congresswoman DeGette (D-CO), would close the Safe Drinking Water Act loophole and require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals they use in fracking.
  • BREATHE (Bringing Reductions to Energy's Airborne Toxic Health Effects) – Under the Clean Air Act, small, individual sources of air pollution in the same area may be aggregated together so as to be regulated as a major source to protect public health, unless those sources are related to oil and gas development. Congressman Polis (D-CO) and Congresswoman Cartwright (D-PA) would close this loophole with the BREATHE Act.
  • FRESHER  (Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydrofracking Environmental Regulation Act) – The Clean Water Act has important provisions designed to control stormwater runoff that carries pollutants that can contaminate our water, unless the runoff comes from an oil and gas development facility. Sponsored by Congressman Cartwright (D-PA), the FRESHER Act would close that loophole.
  • SHARED (Safe Hydration is an American Right in Energy Development Act) This bill would require oil and gas operators to do baseline water testing before operations begin so that affected communities can more easily determine if water pollution originates from that development. The SHARED Act is sponsored by Congresswoman Schakowsky (D-IL).