On May 13, 2014, several members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives proposed a new statute relating to seismic testing (H.B. 2254).

The bill will make it “a rebuttable presumption of law that a person conducting seismic testing is liable and responsible for all damage within 1,000 feet of where the seismic testing was conducted without proof of fault, negligence or causation.” Any claim under the statute “must arise or be made within 90 days of the completion of seismic testing.”

The statute allows a defense to the presumption only if one of the following is established by clear and convincing evidence:

  1. The damages existed prior to the seismic testing.
  2. The damage was not within 1,000 feet of the seismic testing.
  3. The damages occurred as a result of some cause other than the seismic testing.

The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee for consideration.

This post was written by Barclay Nicholson (barclay.nicholson@nortonrosefulbright.com or 713.651.3662) from Norton Rose Fulbright’s Energy Practice Group.