HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The state Senate on Monday endorsed a bipartisan compromise on how to handle the possibility of waste coming to Connecticut from hydraulic fracturing operations in other states.
The legislation creates a moratorium on the waste being stored or disposed in the state until the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection adopts regulations on the matter. Under the bill, DEEP would have until July 1, 2017, to submit its proposed regulations to the General Assembly's Regulations Review Committee.
Initially, lawmakers had considered an outright ban on drilling fluid and other waste generated as a byproduct of gas exploration, commonly known as fracking, in Connecticut. However, that proposal drew criticism from some lawmakers who considered the move premature and possibly unfair because the state is expanding a network of natural gas pipes and equipment while wanting to leave other states to clean up the waste.
"We're taking a more moderate approach," said Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford. "It's an incremental type of approach."
Following five hours of debate, the Senate agreed to place the bill on the consent calendar, a list of bills that all of the members support. The bill still needs support from the House of Representatives before the legislative session adjourns on Wednesday at midnight.
While there is no fracking occurring in Connecticut, Meyer said there's some concern a ban on the process could be lifted in neighboring New York and waste could be trucked here.