SB 5145

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 294 L 19

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning the use of hydraulic fracturing in the exploration for and production of oil and natural gas.

Sponsors: Senators Salomon, Nguyen, Dhingra, Rolfes, Frockt, Hunt, Billig, Darneille, Palumbo, Kuderer, Saldaña and Van De Wege.

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks

House Committee on Rural Development, Agriculture, & Natural Resources

Background: Hydraulic fracturing is frequently used to enhance oil and gas production from underground rock formations. During hydraulic fracturing, hydraulic fracturing fluid is injected down an oil or gas production well and into the targeted rock formation under pressures great enough to fracture oil and gas-bearing rock. The hydraulic fracturing fluid usually carries proppant, typically sand, into the newly-created fractures to prop the fractures open. After hydraulic fracturing, oil, gas, and other fluids flow through the fractures and up the production well to the surface.

Currently, there is no oil and gas production in Washington. However there are many areas of the state that have attracted exploration since 1900 when the first exploration well was drilled. About 600 exploratory gas and oil wells have been drilled in Washington, but large-scale commercial production has never occurred. No oil or gas have been produced in Washington State for decades. Exploration has resulted in the successful development of a natural gas storage reservoir.

Summary: The use of hydraulic fracturing for exploring for, and producing oil and natural gas is prohibited. The use of hydraulic fracturing for other purposes is not prohibited.

Votes on Final Passage:







(House amended)




(Senate concurred)


July 28, 2019