Bill S4220B-2011

Prohibits the use of hydraulic fracturing in the extraction of oil and gas

Prohibits the use of hydraulic fracturing in the extraction of oil and gas; prohibits acceptance, disposal and/or processing of any fluid used in a hydraulic fracturing process.

Details

Actions

  • May 1, 2012: PRINT NUMBER 4220B
  • May 1, 2012: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Dec 12, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 4220A
  • Dec 12, 2011: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • Mar 23, 2011: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4220B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing and the disposal and/or processing of any fluid which was used in a hydraulic fracturing process

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing in the process of drilling for natural gas and/or oil.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law by adding a new subparagraph 4 which defines "Hydraulic Fracturing" to mean "fracturing of rock by man-made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil well production. Any fluid used in such a fracturing technique shall be deemed a 'hydraulic fracturing fluid', including water or liquid propane gas."

Section 2 of the bill amends section 23-0305 of the environmental conservation law by adding a new subdivision 15 to prohibit the Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing any permit for the drilling or operation of any well proposing to use hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing fluids for the extraction of gas and/or oil.

Section 3 of the bill amends subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law by renumbering it to subdivision 4 of section 23-0501 and adds a new subdivision 3, paragraph a, to prohibit the Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing any permit for the drilling or operation of any well proposing to use hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic fracturing fluids for the extraction of gas and/or oil; and, paragraph b that defines hydraulic fracturing as the fracturing of rock by man-made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil well production.

Section 4 of the bill amends the environmental conservation law by adding a new section 17-0513 to prohibit the acceptance, disposal and/or processing of any fluid (including drill cuttings) used in a hydraulic fracturing process. Drilling fluids include drilling mud, chemical additives contained in or added to drilling fluids during hydraulic fracturing process, flow back water and any other residual liquids. Drill cuttings include solid products removed from the well bore during an oil or gas well drilling operation.

Section 5 sets an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: As the price of oil continues its meteoric rise due to demand and regional instability in oil producing nations, the cry for fuel

alternatives including natural gas gets louder. In addition, the need for job creation becomes more imperative as New Yorkers try to recover from the economic crises of recent years and the state attempts to balance an out of control budget. Each of these mounting concerns compels the State to utilize its large natural gas reserves to alleviate these problems. Unfortunately, in our haste to find an expedient and viable solution to these issues the State could easily create a situation where we put our citizens at grave risk of harm from an environmental disaster by expanding the use of hydraulic fracturing methods of extracting natural gas and oil.

The extraction of natural gas and oil reserves using hydraulic fracturing presents significant risk to the environment. This method of natural gas and oil extraction utilizes water combined with multiple chemical additives, some of which are toxic and have been shown to be associated with public health risks such as cancer and developmental delays. There are also new proposals by some companies to use liquid propane gas as a fracking agent - which has yet to receive any serious study as to its safety or effectiveness and could prove to be very dangerous.

Unfortunately many companies involved in drilling have been resistant to revealing which chemicals are contained in their fracturing fluids, making it difficult for communities to assess their risk due to drilling operations. There are also additional chemical contamination risks posed by transportation of chemicals to drilling sites and the storage of the millions of gallons of used fluids that are produced through the drilling process.

Most importantly, a large proportion of the state's drinking water supplies come from areas located above the Utica and Marcellus Shale geological formations where much of the state's natural gas reserves exist. Use of hydraulic fracturing to extract these reserves inherently creates a tremendous risk of contamination to the State's drinking water supply and in turn risk of a significant public health crisis affecting millions of people both upstate and downstate.

Moreover, communities located above the Utica and Marcellus Shales would be further burdened by the construction of new roads to accommodate drilling sites, increased traffic, and potential decreases in air quality due to emissions from drilling operations.

In addition, the state currently allows hydrofracking waste products, including drill cuttings (pulverized rock) and drilling fluid, to be dumped in our landfills, spread on our fields and roads and "treated" in waste treatment facilities that are not necessarily equipped to properly treat such materials. Much of this hydrofracking waste includes low-level radioactive waste such as Ra-226 which is a known carcinogen and is especially dangerous if inhaled or ingested. It is not a stretch of the imagination to see that these waste products could very easily find their way into local ground water directly exposing people by ingestion of the water or by inhaling dust that comes from local landfills or from roads and fields where it has been spread.

A significant amount of this hydrofracking waste is being imported from outside New York, primarily from neighboring Pennsylvania. Trucks cross New York State borders on a daily basis carrying this highly dangerous waste into our state and place many of our citizens at great risk.

The risk of catastrophic danger to the environment, especially the state's drinking water supplies, as a result hydraulic fracturing far outweighs the potential for job creation and promotion of a natural gas alternative to oil. Therefore, the both the practice of hydraulic fracturing and the disposal and/or processing of hydrofracking fluids and drill cuttings should be banned throughout New York State.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Yet to be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4220--B 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 23, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. AVELLA, ADAMS, ADDABBO, CARLUCCI, DILAN, DUANE, ESPAILLAT, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HUNTLEY, KLEIN, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, OPPENHEIMER, PERKINS, RIVERA, SAMPSON, SAVINO, SERRANO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Environmental Conservation in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing and the disposal and/or processing of any fluid which was used in a hydraulic fracturing proc- ess THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subparagraph 4 to read as follows: (4) "HYDRAULIC FRACTURING" MEANS FRACTURING OF ROCK BY MAN-MADE FLUID-DRIVEN FRACTURING TECHNIQUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF STIMULATING NATURAL GAS OR OIL WELL PRODUCTION. ANY FLUID USED IN SUCH A FRACTURING TECHNIQUE SHALL BE DEEMED A "HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FLUID", INCLUDING WATER OR LIQUID PROPANE GAS. S 2. Section 23-0305 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows: 15. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ISSUE A PERMIT FOR THE DRILLING OR OPERA- TION OF ANY WELL PROPOSING TO USE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FLUIDS, AS SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED BY SUBPARAGRAPH FOUR OF PARAGRAPH B OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 23-0501 OF THIS ARTICLE, FOR THE EXTRACTION OF GAS AND/OR OIL.
S 3. Subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conserva- tion law is renumbered subdivision 4 and a new subdivision 3 is added to read as follows: 3. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT ISSUE A PERMIT FOR THE DRILLING OR OPERA- TION OF ANY WELL PROPOSING TO USE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OR HYDRAULIC FRACTURING FLUIDS FOR THE EXTRACTION OF GAS AND/OR OIL. S 4. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 17-0513 to read as follows: S 17-0513. PROHIBITION ON ACCEPTANCE, DISPOSAL AND/OR PROCESSING OF ANY FLUID USED IN A HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS. 1. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE ACCEPTANCE, DISPOSAL AND/OR PROCESSING OF ANY DRILLING FLUIDS OR DRILL CUTTINGS IN THIS STATE, WHEN SUCH DRILLING FLUIDS OR DRILL CUTTINGS HAVE BEEN USED IN A HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS, IS PROHIBITED. 2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION: (A) "DRILLING FLUIDS" SHALL MEAN DRILLING MUD, CHEMICAL ADDITIVES CONTAINED IN OR ADDED TO DRILLING FLUIDS DURING THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING DRILLING PROCESS, FLOW BACK WATER THAT RETURNS TO THE SURFACE AFTER THE HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROCESS, OR ANY OTHER RESIDUAL LIQUIDS INVOLVED IN DRILLING. (B) "DRILL CUTTINGS" SHALL MEAN SOLID PRODUCTS REMOVED FROM THE WELL BORE DURING AN OIL OR GAS WELL DRILLING OPERATION. (C) "HYDRAULIC FRACTURING" SHALL MEAN THE FRACTURING OF ROCK BY MAN-MADE FLUID-DRIVEN FRACTURING TECHNIQUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF STIMULAT- ING NATURAL GAS OR OIL WELL PRODUCTION. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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