The House and Senate have spent weeks working on House Bill 4411 dealing with the disposal of hydraulic fracturing drill cuttings in land fills. Earlier in the session, the House of Delegates held a public hearing on the issue. But members could not agree on the terms of the bill and late Saturday evening it ended up in a conference committee.
The conference agreement came down to this: landfills who want to accept drill cuttings from fracking sites must apply for permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Public Service Commission. So far, seven are in the process of doing so. Those seven would be the only landfills allowed to apply for the permits for two years. They must put radon detectors at their front gates to test trucks, cannot mix the drill cuttings with municipal waste and must charge a $1 fee per ton they accept. The first $750 thousand collected will go toward a study on the waste due to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance next year.
That agreement, however, did not make it to the clerks’ desks in time to be put to a vote and the bill died, leaving no legislative restrictions on these cuttings and their disposal.