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 OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to impose a moratorium on the issuance of certain natural gas drilling permits.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill would prohibit horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas or oil drilling for three years.
JUSTIFICATION: High volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) is a method of extracting natural gas from underground shale formations. The HVHF process typically includes the introduction of millions of gallons of fracturing fluid - a mixture of water, proppants and chemicals - under high pressure into a previously drilled wellbore. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF involves the use and/or production of numerous toxic and hazardous air and water contaminants, a number of them known or suspected carcinogens. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF has also been associated with a range of adverse environmental impacts, including impacts to water and air quality, land and habitat, and community character. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF has also been associated with a range of reported impacts to human health, including respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological and immune system ailments, as well as birth defects. Only recently, however, has the scientific community begun to examine more comprehensively the potential public health impacts associated with oil and gas development utilizing HVHF.
A number of the most recently published scientific papers relating to the potential health impacts associated with oil and gas development utilizing HVHF suggest reasons for concern. For example, recent studies in Colorado and Pennsylvania have indicated an increased risk of birth defects for children born to mothers living in close proximity to natural gas wells. In addition, researchers in Colorado have found increased levels of air and water pollutants that have been shown to pose risks to human health, as well as increased risk of cancer and endocrinological disorders, within close proximity to gas wells.
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 utilizing HVHF 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 HVHF activities in the state. There are currently a number of important and potentially significant health impact studies underway that may produce information that will allow for better informed decision making regarding horizontal gas drilling and HVHF activities in New York. For example, key studies are being undertaken by Geisinger Health System (in Pennsylvania), the University of Pennsylvania Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Colorado State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Duke University, as well as by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances Disease Registry and the
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Most of these studies are not expected to produce meaningful results for a period of three or more years.
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. 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: 2013: A.5424-A (Sweeney) - Passed the Assembly.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed thirty-six months after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4236--B 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. AVELLA, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, CARLUCCI, DILAN, ESPAIL- LAT, GIANARIS, GIPSON, HASSELL-THOMPSON, HOYLMAN, KRUEGER, LATIMER, MARTINS, MONTGOMERY, O'BRIEN, PARKER, PERALTA, PERKINS, RIVERA, SAVI- NO, SERRANO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY, STEWART-COUSINS, TKACZYK -- 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 commit- tee -- 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 commit- tee 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. No horizontal natural gas or oil drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall be conducted in the state, and the department of environmental conservation shall issue no permits for the drilling of a well for extraction of oil or natural gas that would involve the use of horizontal drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed 36 months after such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09142-07-4