Bill S336-2013

Requires a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing

Requires a health impact assessment for horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; imposes a moratorium on such activities pending adoption and implementation of the final health impact assessment.

Details

Actions

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

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S336

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/10/12 An act to require a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; and imposing a moratorium on such activities pending adoption and implementation of the final health impacts assessment; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to properly inform the people of the State of New York of any and all potential public health impacts posed by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing and their related activities. Such analysis and information shall serve as a tool for the people and their representatives to make informed decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to horizontal gas drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing activities in the state.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill sets forth the legislative findings of the bill as described above.

Section 2 of the bill requires that a School of Public Health within the State University of New York ("School of Public Health") shall conduct a comprehensive Health Impacts Assessment following a model recommended by the United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the National Academy of Sciences to examine potential public health impacts that could be caused by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing and related activities conducted in connection with such drilling.

Section 3 of the bill requires that prior to the commencement of research, the School of Public Health shall prepare a scoping document that will establish the scope of assessments to be made by the Health Impacts Assessment. The scoping document shall include the required analyses contained in this act as well as any other potential analyses to be conducted, and shall be subject to public review, comment and revision;

Section 4 of the bill requires that such Health Impacts Assessment shall include, at a minimum, the following analyses:

a) Identification and assessment of potential localized and statewide health impacts from horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, extraction and related activities in the state;

b) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts determining the magnitude, nature, extent and likelihood of potential health impacts utilizing multiple methods and information derived from a combination of public health tools including risk assessment, literature, population analysis and expert opinions from multiple sources;

c) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts as they relate to environmental justice concerns;

d) Estimated costs of any health impacts from horizontal drilling and related activities to the State, local governments, health insurers, employers and the State's public and private health care systems as a whole;

e) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential health impacts and the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations, which may include potential recommendations against any or all drilling activities; and

f) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluation, follow-up and mitigation of potential health impacts throughout the period that horizontal drilling would take place in the state if such activity is to be recommended.

Section 5 of the bill requires that a draft of the Health Impacts Assessment directed under section two of this act shall be released to the public for review and comment. The School of Public Health shall conduct a minimum of two public hearings regarding the findings or the draft Health Impacts Assessment and allow at least one hundred eighty days for the public to submit comments to the School of Public Health. Upon the closing of the public comment period, the School of Public Health shall categorize, review and respond to all public comments. If substantive changes to the Health Impacts Assessment are made as a result of public comments, the School of Public Health shall issue a supplemental draft. Such supplemental draft shall similarly be subject to public comment and review, in compliance with the parameters set out for the initial draft.

Section 6 of the bill requires that upon completion of response to public comments on the final draft, the School of Public Health shall submit the Final Health Impacts Assessment to the New York State Department of Health. The Department of Health shall adopt the Final Health Impacts Assessment, which shall be available to the public and copy delivered to each house of the Legislature and the Governor.

Section 7 of the bill mandates that no horizontal gas drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall be conducted in the State, and the State shall issue no permits for extraction of oil or natural gas using the process of horizontal drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing, prior to the adoption of the Final Health Impacts Assessment by the Department of Health, as required by section six of this act, and the State has in all material respects implemented the recommendations made by such Final Health Impacts Assessment.

Section 8 of the bill sets forth an immediate effective date and shall expire and be deemed repealed on the one hundred twentieth day after adoption by the department of health of the final health impacts assessment; provided that, the commissioner of the department of health shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the adoption of the final health impacts assessment in order that such commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in

furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

JUSTIFICATION: As the Governor and the Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") continue to deliberate on allowing the practice of horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State, it is imperative that a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment be completed prior to any final decision.

Unfortunately, the Revised Draft SGEIS has failed to address any adverse health effects as a result of hydrofacking. It is a glaring irresponsible omission for the State to fail to include this analysis in its decision to allow this industry to take place in New York. This is especially true given recent and well documented news reports from Pennsylvania that raise serious concerns regarding the potential for very serious health effects on humans and animals that live in close proximity to these hydrofracking wells,

A call for a Health Impacts Assessment is being made by thousands of health care professionals across the state of New York and in a recent letter to Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders, doctors from across the state relayed their increasing concerns about the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing which include a range of illnesses from "loss of smell, memory problems and headaches to a number of serious respiratory illnesses and cancers that have been associated with high-volume, slick water, horizontal hydraulic fracturing." The New York State Nurses Association has weighed in as well and points to other states, including Pennsylvania and Wyoming where groundwater has become contaminated with synthetic chemicals, some of which are known to cause genetic abnormalities and stillbirths."

It is the State government's fundamental responsibility to refrain from permitting this industry until, at the very least, a comprehensive analysis has been completed on the health effects of hydrofracking.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.6772

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed on the one hundred twentieth day after adoption by the department of health impacts assessment; provided that, the commissioner of the department of health shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the adoption of the final health impacts assessment in order that such commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 336 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. AVELLA, ADDABBO, MONTGOMERY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to require a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drill- ing and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; and imposing a moratorium on such activities pending adoption and implementation of the final health impacts assessment; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that the people of the state of New York should be properly informed of any and all potential public health impacts posed by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing and their related activities. Such analysis and information should serve as a tool for the people and their representatives to make informed decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic frac- turing activities in the state. S 2. A School of Public Health within the State University of New York (hereinafter "the School of Public Health") shall conduct a comprehen- sive health impacts assessment, following a model recommended by the United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and the National Academy of Sciences, to examine potential public health impacts that could be caused by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydrau- lic fracturing and related activities conducted in connection with such drilling. S 3. Prior to the commencement of research, the School of Public Health shall prepare a scoping document that will establish the scope of assessments to be made by the health impacts assessment. The scoping document shall include the required analyses contained in this act as
well as any other potential analyses to be conducted, and shall be subject to public review, comment and revision. S 4. Such health impacts assessment shall include, at a minimum, the following analyses: (a) Identification and assessment of potential localized and statewide health impacts from horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, extraction and related activities in the state; (b) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts deter- mining the magnitude, nature, extent and likelihood of potential health impacts utilizing multiple methods and information derived from a combi- nation of public health tools including risk assessment, literature, population analysis and expert opinions from multiple sources; (c) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts as they relate to environmental justice concerns; (d) Estimated costs of any health impacts from horizontal drilling and related activities to the state, local governments, health insurers, employers and the state's public and private health care systems as a whole; (e) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential health impacts and the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations, which may include potential recommendations against any or all drilling activ- ities; and (f) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluation, follow-up and miti- gation of potential health impacts throughout the period that horizontal drilling would take place in the state if such activity is to be recom- mended. S 5. A draft of the health impacts assessment directed under section two of this act shall be released to the public for review and comment. The School of Public Health shall conduct a minimum of two public hear- ings regarding the findings of the draft health impacts assessment and allow at least one hundred eighty days for the public to submit comments to the School of Public Health. Upon the closing of the public comment period, the School of Public Health shall categorize, review and respond to all public comments. If substantive changes to the health impacts assessment are made as a result of public comments, the School of Public Health shall issue a supplemental draft. Such supplemental draft shall similarly be subject to public comment and review, in compliance with the parameters set out for the initial draft. S 6. Upon completion of response to public comments on the final draft, the School of Public Health shall submit the final health impacts assessment to the department of health. The department of health shall adopt the final health impacts assessment, which shall be available to the public and a copy delivered to each house of the legislature and the governor. S 7. No horizontal gas drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall be conducted in the state, and the state shall issue no permits for extraction of oil or natural gas using the process of horizontal drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing, prior to the adoption of the final health impacts assessment by the department of health, as required by section six of this act, and the state has in all material respects implemented the recommendations made by such final health impacts assessment. S 8. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed on the one hundred twentieth day after the adoption by the department of health of the final health impacts assessment; provided that, the commissioner of the department of health shall notify
the legislative bill drafting commission upon the adoption of the final health impacts assessment in order that such commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

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