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PRINTER'S NO. 1018
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
875
Session of
2015
INTRODUCED BY BARTOLOTTA, WHITE, VULAKOVICH, YAW, WAGNER,
ARGALL, SCARNATI, VOGEL, YUDICHAK, STEFANO, MENSCH,
HUTCHINSON, ALLOWAY AND COSTA, JUNE 4, 2015
REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY, JUNE 4, 2015
AN ACT
Providing for the use of treated mine water for oil and gas
development.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Treated Mine
Water Act.
Section 2. Findings and declarations.
The General Assembly finds and declares as follows:
(1) The oil and gas industry needs reliable sources of
water to drill, complete and hydraulically fracture
conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells.
(2) An acceptable source of water for oil and gas
development is treated mine water from coal mines.
(3) Treated coal mine water can be effectively
substituted for fresh water for oil and gas well development,
which conserves sources of fresh water.
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(4) The purpose of this act is to protect a mine
operator who provides treated mine water for the development
of an oil or gas well from liability for the offsite use of
treated mine water and to protect persons who use treated
mine water to develop oil and gas wells from liability for
the treatment or abatement of mine drainage or mine pool
water.
Section 3. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Department." The Department of Environmental Protection of
the Commonwealth.
"Mine drainage" or "mine pool water." Water contained in a
mine pool or a surface discharge of water caused by mining
activity.
"Mine operator." The permittee of an active or closed coal
mine that treats mine drainage or mine pool water under a permit
issued by the department.
"Oil or gas well development." The drilling, completion,
hydraulic fracturing or other development of a conventional or
unconventional oil or gas well.
"Treated mine water." Water from an active or closed coal
mine that is treated by a mine operator under a permit issued by
the department.
Section 4. Liability.
(a) Immunity.--A mine operator who provides treated mine
water from a permitted mining activity site shall be immune from
liability for any cost, injury or damage arising out of the use
of the treated mine water if all of the following apply:
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(1) The treated mine water is for use outside the
boundaries of the permitted mining activity site.
(2) The treated mine water is for oil or gas well
development.
(3) The mine operator is not the same person using the
treated mine water for oil or gas well development.
(b) Acquisition.--A person who acquires treated mine water
from a mine operator for use in oil or gas well development
shall be immune from liability for the treatment or abatement of
the mine drainage or mine pool water as a result of acquiring or
using treated mine water.
(c) Limitation.--Nothing under this act shall limit the
liability of a person for unlawful spills or releases of treated
mine water caused by the person. Except as provided under
subsections (a) and (b), nothing under this act shall relieve a
mine operator or a person who acquires treated mine water for
use in oil or gas well development from the mine operator's or
person's obligations under law.
Section 5. Solid waste.
Treated mine water that meets the effluent limits of the
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit for the
source mine and is being used in an oil or gas development
project shall not be considered a solid waste as defined in
section 103 of the act of July 7, 1980 (P.L.380, No.97), known
as the Solid Waste Management Act.
Section 6. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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