Suspends the issuance of permits for drilling wells for natural gas extraction in certain areas.
TITLE OF BILL: An act suspending the issuance of permits for the drilling of wells for natural gas extraction in certain areas; and providing for the repeal of such provision upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to impose a moratorium on the issuance of certain natural gas drilling permits and to require the completion of a comprehensive health impact assessment.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill would suspend, until May 15, 2015, the issuance of permits for natural gas extraction in low permeability natural gas reservoirs such as the Marcellus and Utica shale formations and would require a school of public health to conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment complete with public comment and review.
The potential development of natural gas drilling in low permeability natural gas reservoirs such as the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has led to robust debate regarding the safety of the process and the protection of the environment.
Delaying the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) ability to issue permits will provide the Legislature with additional time to assess the true public health and environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing and will provide the opportunity for the completion of a comprehensive health impact assessment. This bill will also help ensure the Legislature has adequate time to review DEC's Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) once it is produced. Such a moratorium will allow for a thorough, deliberate and unrushed analysis of all of the factors involved.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill, but similar legislation, A.11443-B -Rules (Sweeney), was vetoed in 2010.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed repealed on May 15, 2015.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4236--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- 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 AN ACT suspending the issuance of permits for the drilling of wells for natural gas extraction in certain areas; and providing for the repeal of such provision upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. There is hereby established a suspension of the issuance of permits for the drilling of a well for natural gas extraction in low permeability natural gas pools such as the Marcellus and Utica shale formations. S 2. 1. A school of public health within the state university of New York shall conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment following a model recommended by the centers for disease control and prevention to examine potential public health impacts that could be caused by the extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing. For the purposes of this act, health impact assessment shall mean a combination of procedures, methods, and tools by which a policy, program, or project may be judged as to its potential effects on the health of a population, and the distribution of those effects within the population. 2. Prior to the commencement of such assessment, the school of public health conducting such assessment shall prepare a scoping document that will establish the parameters of the health impact assessment. The scop- ing document shall include the 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.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09142-03-3 S. 4236--A 2
3. Such health impact assessment of the extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall include, at a minimum, the following analyses: (a) Identification and assessment of the magnitude, nature and extent of potential localized and statewide health impacts utilizing multiple methods and information derived from a combination of public health tools including risk assessment, scientific literature, and population analysis; (b) Identification and assessment of disparate community-level impacts; (c) Estimated costs of any health impacts to the state, local govern- ments, health insurers, employers and the state's public and private health care systems as a whole; (d) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential health impacts and the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations; and (e) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluating, tracking and mitigat- ing potential health impacts. 4. A draft of such health impact assessment shall be released for public review and comment. The school of public health conducting such assessment shall conduct a minimum of two public hearings regarding the findings of the draft health impact assessment and allow at least one hundred twenty days for the public to submit comments. Upon the closing of the public comment period, such school of public health shall cate- gorize, review and respond to all public comments. If substantive chang- es to the health impact assessment are made as a result of public comments, such school of public health shall issue a revised draft. Such revised draft shall similarly be subject to public comment and review, in compliance with the parameters set out for the initial draft. 5. After responding to all public comments as required by subdivision four of this section, and upon completion of the health impact assess- ment, such school of public health shall submit the completed health impact assessment to the New York state department of health. The department of health shall make such health impact assessment available to the public and deliver copies to the legislature and the governor for review. 6. The health impact assessment required under subdivision one of this section shall be completed within ninety days after the final public comment period, but in no event shall such assessment be completed later than April 15, 2015. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed May 15, 2015.