Bill S31-2013

Establishes a moratorium on the issuance of permits for the drilling of wells and prohibits drilling within two miles of the New York city water supply infrastructure

Establishes a moratorium on the issuance of permits for the drilling of wells and prohibits drilling within ten miles of the New York city water supply infrastructure.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S31

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to environmental protection related to the drilling of oil and gas wells, and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To prohibit any permits for oil or gas drilling to be issued by DEC for two years. Furthermore the bill would permanently prohibit any such drilling within ten miles of the New York City watershed or water supply infrastructure; or any other water system that has received a filtration avoidance determination from the US EPA. No drilling would be allowed in any area overlying a sale source aquifer; any other area that DEC identifies for protection of drinking water; critical habitats for threatened or endangered species or a "natural heritage area as defined by law; any other area identified by the DEC as a bird conservation area or critical bird habitat; floodplains; or all areas with NYS park, forest preserve, state forest, wildlife refuge, wildlife management area or wilderness area. The DEC would determine by regulation how much of a buffer would be placed around these areas. Furthermore, a municipality, as requested by either the chief executive or legislative body, has the right to apply to the DEC to study the need for a ban within its borders.

JUSTIFICATION: Significant parts of upstate, including the area along the Pennsylvania border and into the Catskill region are part of the Marcellus shale formation and are threatened with the development of thousands of new potential oil and gas wells and unprecedented damage to ground and water resources and environmental damage from the drilling of wells. This bill will prohibit permits for drilling to be issued by DEC for two years. It is our expectation that this time will allow for further study of hydraulic fracturing and restrictions can be put into place to protect our water and air. Furthermore, the bill will provide protection for the named critical areas listed above by permanently prohibiting this drilling in them.. Irreparable damage could be done to the environment by allowing drilling in any of those areas.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A similar bill, A.11527, was introduced in 2008. Since that time, the bill has undergone several changes and additions to better protect the environment.

2009: A.1322C (Brennan), Died in Environmental Conservation 2010: S.6654B (Duane), Died in Environmental Conservation; A.1322C (Brennan), Died in Rules

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 31 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to envi- ronmental protection related to the drilling of oil and gas wells, and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law is renumbered subdivision 5 and two new subdivisions 3 and 4 are added to read as follows: 3. COMMENCING WITH THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THERE SHALL BE A MORATORIUM ON THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS FOR THE DRILLING OF NEW WELLS. 4. (A) NO PERMIT TO DRILL AN OIL OR GAS WELL USING HYDRAULIC FRACTUR- ING SHALL BE ISSUED FOR THE DRILLING OF ANY OIL OR GAS WELL WITHIN TEN MILES OF: (I) THE NEW YORK CITY WATER SUPPLY INFRASTRUCTURE; (II) THE NEW YORK CITY WATERSHED; OR (III) THE AREA AROUND AND INCLUDING ANY WATER SYSTEM THAT HAS RECEIVED, AT ANY POINT IN TIME, A FILTRATION AVOIDANCE DETERMINATION FROM THE UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY; (B) NO PERMIT TO DRILL AN OIL OR GAS WELL USING HYDRAULIC FRACTURING SHALL BE ISSUED FOR THE DRILLING OF ANY OIL OR GAS WELL WITHIN AN APPRO- PRIATE DISTANCE, TO BE DETERMINED BY RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT, OF: (I) ANY AREA OVERLYING A SOLE SOURCE AQUIFER; (II) ANY OTHER AREA IDENTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS NECESSARY FOR THE PROTECTION OF DRINKING WATER RESOURCES; (III) ANY AREA IDENTIFIED AS A CRITICAL HABITAT FOR A THREATENED OR ENDANGERED SPECIES UNDER SECTION FOUR OF THE FEDERAL ENDANGERED SPECIES
ACT (42 U.S.C. S 1533) OR ANY AREA IDENTIFIED AS A "NATURAL HERITAGE AREA" UNDER SECTION 11-0539 OF THIS CHAPTER; (IV) ANY AREA IDENTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT AS A BIRD CONSERVATION AREA OR ANY OTHER CRITICAL BIRD HABITAT FOR THE PROTECTION OF MIGRATORY OR NON-MIGRATORY BIRDS; (V) ANY FLOODPLAINS; OR (VI) ALL AREAS WITHIN ANY NEW YORK STATE PARK, FOREST PRESERVE, STATE FOREST, WILDLIFE REFUGE, WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, OR WILDERNESS AREA. (C) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL, UPON APPLICATION BY ANY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OR LEGISLATIVE BODY OF A MUNICIPALITY, IN A MANNER AND FORM TO BE DETER- MINED BY THE DEPARTMENT, STUDY THE NEED FOR A BAN ON SUCH PERMITS IN SUCH MUNICIPALITY AND REPORT THE FINDINGS OF SUCH STUDY TO SUCH MUNICI- PALITY. AS THE DEPARTMENT DEEMS APPROPRIATE, IT MAY PERFORM A SINGLE STUDY AND REPORT FOR MORE THAN ONE MUNICIPALITY. (D) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBDIVISION: (I) "NEW YORK CITY WATER SUPPLY INFRASTRUCTURE" SHALL MEAN FACILITIES, EQUIPMENT, SITES, BUILDINGS, PIPES, PUMPS, TANKS AND ANY OTHER STRUC- TURES USED FOR THE SUPPLY, CONTROL, TREATMENT, DISTRIBUTION, AND TRANS- PORT OF DRINKING WATER FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK; (II) "NEW YORK CITY WATERSHED" SHALL MEAN THE ENTIRE DRAINAGE AREA CONTRIBUTING WATER TO THE CITY OF NEW YORK WATER SUPPLY; AND (III) "HYDRAULIC FRACTURING" SHALL MEAN FRACTURING OF ROCK BY MAN-MADE FRACTURING TECHNIQUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF STIMULATING NATURAL GAS OR OIL WELL PRODUCTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the provisions of subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law, as added by section one of this act, shall expire and be deemed repealed two years after such date; and provided further, that the provisions of subdivision 4 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law, as added by section one of this act, shall apply to any application not yet approved by the department of environmental conservation on such effective date.

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