There was a moment at this morning's Senate Rules Committee meeting at NCGA that left me scratching my head…. I hope y'all can help clarify something for me.
The bill being discussed was HB 761. This huge, 62 page Proposed Committee Substitute covers everything from Ambiant Air Monitoring and Animal Euthanasia Requirements to making it a Class H felony to poach venus fly traps from the only area where they grow in the wild (down east NC).
My moment of confusion occurred as the committee was discussing Section 5.13, Pre-Drilling Testing of Water Supplies. The areas immediately surrounding a well-head (Fracking site) will have their well water tested on a regular basis. The results of these tests shall be reported to DENR, where they will be considered public information and published on the DENR website. UNLESS, the "surface owner" of one of the parcels of land declares in writing that s/he does not want the info on their particular well published on the website. That info will still be considered public info and anyone can make a request to DENR for info on that parcel's well water.
When asked why a "surface owner" would want to prevent website publication of the test results, the only answer from Chair/Sen Apodoca was property rights. If someone owns the land it is their property right not to put this info on the website. The owner should decide.
Hmm… I thought. Where was this concern for property rights when 'pooled fracking' was written into our laws??? Don't property owners also have a right to determine if their mineral rights are sold, leased, or fracked?? It would seem to me that fracking someone's property was way more important than posting the results of well water testing on a publicly accessed website…
What am I missing here, folks???