Bill that clarifies ownership, liability of oil wastewater signed into law

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill focused on wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations was signed into law last week.

On Tuesday, Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 1875 into law.

The measure, also known as the Oil and Gas Produced Water and Waste Recycling Reuse Act, clarifies that produced water and waste is the property of the oil and gas producer until it is officially transferred to another person.

Officials say it also shields liability from those who process wastewater into recycled water and transport the recycled water for further use in oil and gas production.

“This law is the result of unprecedented negotiations between oil, gas, agricultural and landowner stakeholders across the state,” Sen. Dave Rader said. “We’ve all seen negative impacts of underground wastewater injection. It’s in the state’s best interest to cultivate, encourage and promote developments that allow for the economical treatment of wastewater so it can become a useful resource in the future. By clarifying ownership and liability, this law could help protect existing freshwater resources and groundwater from potential pollution.”

State lawmakers say that by clarifying ownership and liability, the measure aims to attract entrepreneurs to invest in technology to process and treat oil and gas produced water and waste.

“Such clarity will give Oklahoma a competitive edge in attracting entrepreneurs looking to turn wastewater into a reusable resource,” Rep. Terry O’Donnell said. “This helps us create a stronger business environment as we continue to seek ways to diversify our state’s economy.”

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