According to Channel 10 News, Tampa Bay, Fla., a bill that would create regulations for fracking was approved by a Florida House committee despite strong opposition from environmentalists who said the method of oil and gas drilling could contaminate drinking water and cause health problems.
The bill calls for the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a $1 million study on how fracking would affect surface and groundwater and underground geology and then set regulations for the fracking industry. It will also look at how water and chemicals will be disposed of and any potential for contamination once a well has been plugged.
The Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee voted 9-3 for the bill (HB 191) after hearing about 30 members of the public and lobbyists comment on the measure, nearly all of whom opposed it out of environmental and health concerns. The vote was along party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats against.