On May 16, 2012, with the signature of Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont became the first U.S. state to ban hydraulic fracturing wells for natural gas and oil production. See H.R. 464 (Act No. 0152). The state legislature determined that hydraulic fracturing–which involves the pumping of water and chemicals into natural gas or oil wells in order to create fractures in rock for the purpose of the production or recovery of oil or gas–presents a risk of contamination of drinking water aquifers.
Among other things, the new law amends 29 V.S.A § 571 to add the following prohibitions:
- “No person may engage in hydraulic fracturing in the state;” and
- “No person within the state may collect, store, or treat wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.”