PA Legislation Would Mandate Use of Closed Systems for Non-Freshwater Fluids

A bill was recently introduced in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that would require use of closed containment or loop systems for all non-freshwater associated with drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  Introduced by Representative Karen Boback, who represents parts of Luzerne, Wyoming, and Columbia counties, House Bill 1546 would prohibit the use of open impoundments to store “any produced liquids, treated water, hydraulic fracturing fluid or industrial wastes,” and would mandate the use of “closed containment system” or “closed loop system,” as defined in the bill.  “Closed containment system” is defined as “closed noncorrosive tanks or containers” for storing the fluids described above, while “closed loop system” means “a series of interconnected, enclosed noncorrosive storage tanks or containers” that can help maximize the amount of drilling fluid that can be reused and recycled in the hydraulic fracturing process.  Rep. Boback acknowledged that the bill is aimed at a minority of operators who still use open impoundments to store the described fluids.