Prohibits the use of waste from oil or natural gas extraction activities or waste from storage of oil or natural gas on any highway.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of flowback water from oil or natural gas wells, pools or fields on any highway
PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit waste water from hydrofracking, which contains a variety of chemical and radioactive contaminants, from being used on highways for purposes such as melting ice.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill prohibits flowback water from oil and gas wells, pools, or fields, i.e., the waste water from hydrofracking operations, from being used on highways. Section one of the bill amends Environmental Conservation Law ("ECL") section 23-0303, subdivision 8, to add the prohibition against use of flowback water on highways, and specifically refers to the Transportation Law definition of highway, to ensure that all public roads are included. Section two is the effective date, which is 160 days after enactment.
JUSTIFICATION: In addition to the many concerns about the safety of the process itself and hydrofracking's effect on groundwater and watersheds, which are the subject of other legislative proposals, moratoriums and administrative and/or legislative oversight and regulation, a separate concern about possible reuse of the wastewater is addressed by this bill. The production of oil and natural gas, especially the hydraulic fracturing process to extract natural gas, generally referred to as hydrofracking, generates wastewater with a variety of contaminants, including endocrine disruptors and radioactive materials. At least in part because the wastewater is very salty, it is used in some communities to de-ice roads in the winter, as well as for other purposes, like suppressing dust, in other seasons.
Toxic, hazardous, and radioactive fracking waste from oil and natural gas drilling can potentially cause irreversible damage to water, air, land and food supplies. Although this waste is hazardous and in fact exceeds the legal criteria for hazardous waste classification, it is categorized as "industrial" under federal and state laws as a result Of special exemptions given to the oil and gas industry. These exemptions eliminate tracking requirements for its handling, storage, treatment and disposal of the waste. As such the waste can be used for many purposes such as road deicer or to suppress dust.
Spreading radioactive fracking waste on roads will expose drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, to dangerous pollutants while contaminating nearby surface waters, residential areas, school properties and farmland. Radioactive particles may become airborne as trucks and passenger vehicles travel along roads. These events provide opportunity for.human and livestock inhalation and ingestion of highly radioactive materials and other contaminants.
Unfortunately, these uses also result in runoff that ran contaminate the ground water. This bill therefore would prohibit the use of wastewater from hydrofracking on public roads in New York.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 180 days after becoming a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3333 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIPSON -- 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 prohibiting the use of flowback water from oil or natural gas wells, pools or fields on any highway THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 23-0305 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: 15. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROHIBIT THE USE OF FLOWBACK WATER FROM OIL OR NATURAL GAS WELLS, POOLS OR FIELDS ON ANY HIGHWAY, AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF SECTION TWO OF THE TRANSPORTATION LAW, FOR ANY PURPOSE, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO USE FOR DE-ICING, DUST SUPPRESSION OR ANY OTHER USE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01676-02-3