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HB 1331, if passed, would modify the Natural Resources Code (Section 122.001, 122.002) by adding new sections regarding drill cuttings. A few sections of the bill would clarify that drill cuttings under this section of code refer specifically to oil and gas waste (specifically, rock or soil brought to the surface by drilling apparatus during the creation of an oil or gas well). The most notable change, is Section 122.0025 which regards the responsibility in tort for drill cuttings. This section reads as follows:
“A person who generates drill cuttings and transfers the drill cuttings to a permit holder with the contractual understanding that the drill cuttings will be used in connection with road building or another beneficial use is not liable in tort for a consequence of the subsequent use of the drill cuttings by the permit holder or by another person.”
HB 1331 would amend the Natural Resources Code in a beneficial way by making it absolutely clear that individuals involved in the oil and gas industry cannot be held responsible for drill cuttings if they have contractually transferred ownership to another party. We support positive tort reforms, which defends Free Markets. This House bill is a beneficial defense of private Property Rights under the Natural Resources Code, which also represents a boon to Individual Liberty.