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Sen. Chambers Bill Would Force Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals

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Sen. Ernie Chambers

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday May 7, 2015

Contact:
Jane Kleeb, 402-705-3622, jane@boldnebraska.org
Ken Winston, 402-212-3737, kwinston@inebraska.com

Bill Introduced to Force Disclosure of Fracking Chemicals

NE Sierra Club, Bold Nebraska support legislation from Sen. Chambers

Lincoln, NE — The Nebraska Legislature on Thursday voted in a supermajority (37-6) to suspend their rules and allow the introduction of Sen. Ernie Chambers LB 664, a bill that would compel the public disclosure of the exact mix of toxic chemicals present in fracking wastewater.

Although the bill will not be acted upon during the current legislative session, the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee will launch a study on fracking shortly after the session ends. Earlier this week, Sen. Ken Haar introduced LR 247, a Legislature interim study that will examine whether the NOGCC should be dissolved and its responsibilities taken over by another agency or agencies.

“We are pleased that a supermajority of the Legislature agreed with Senator Chambers and supported his motion to permit introduction of a bill that would require disclosure of all the contents of fracking waste. We understand that the bill won’t pass this session, but it sends a message to the people of Nebraska that their voices need to be heard in this process,” said Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club policy advocate. “It also sends a message to the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that the Legislature is taking this issue very seriously. We thank Senator Chambers for introducing this bill and the 36 other senators who supported his motion. We look forward to continued public discussion of issues related to fracking waste and more important, discussion of ways to protect Nebraska’s water and other vital natural resources from contamination.”

“The majority of citizens and state senators agree that fracking waste must be fully disclosed for our public health,” said Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb. “The only question that remains is where does Gov. Ricketts stand?”

Bold Nebraska and Nebraska Sierra Club led the call for the Nebraska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to put off a scheduled vote on a controversial proposed fracking wastewater well in Sioux County — having formed a coalition opposed to moving forward with the vote that included State Senators Galen Hadley, Heath Mello, Ken Haar, Ernie Chambers, John Kuehn, Kate Sullivan, Al Davis, Bob Krist and John Stinner; the editorial boards of the Lincoln Journal Star and Scottsbluff Star-Herald, 8,300 petition signers; and 1,320 Nebraskans who each sent a letter to their state senators.

View the citizen letter to state senators:
http://act.boldnebraska.org/letter/fracking_letter/

However, the NOGCC ignored this coalition and approved the fracking wastewater well permit at a “special meeting” held on April 22.

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Sen. Ken Haar speaks with a local activist at the March 24 NOGCC hearing, where another citizen poured the glasses of “fracked water” on the table for Commissioners (as seen in this video viewed 1.8 million times on YouTube). Photo: Mark Hefflinger

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