Bill S7783-2013

Relates to standards of performance for wastewater facilities

Relates to standards of performance for wastewater facilities.

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  • Jun 9, 2014: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7783

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to wastewater treatment facilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that wastewater treatment facilities safely handle water from hydraulic fracturing operations.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

This bill would:

*prohibit wastewater treatment facilities from accepting wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations unless such facilities meet performance requirements; and,

*require the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to promulgate regulations establishing a standard of performance for the discharge of pollutants from facilities that treat wastewater from hydraulic fracturing facilities. Such standards shall permit no discharge of pollutants, or if not feasible, shall require the greatest possible degree of effluent reductions.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Adds a new 17-0513 and a new § 17-0709 to the Environmental Conservation Law.

JUSTIFICATION: Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) involves the high-pressure injection of millions of gallons of water and multiple chemicals into rock to stimulate the production of oil and gas. The hydraulic fluid often includes several different categories of chemicals including: proppants (to open fractures); acids (to clean up cement); breakers (to reduce viscosity and enhance fluid recovery); bactericides/biocides (to prevent the growth of bacteria that could reduce the ability of the fluid to carry proppant); clay stabilizer (to prevent the formation of clays that could decrease permeability); corrosion inhibitor (to reduce rust formation on steel tubing and tanks); crosslinkers (to increase fluid viscosity); friction reducers (to increase fluid flow); gelling agents (to increase viscosity); iron controls, scale inhibitors, and, surfacants (to aid fluid recovery). The resulting wastewater, commonly referred to as produced water, is highly salty and contains all of the residual chemicals. If not treated properly at wastewater treatment facilities, those chemicals could enter the water supply.

In response to concerns about water contamination and the ability of treatment plants to properly handle fracking waste, Pennsylvania required drillers to stop taking such waste to the State's treatment facilities. This legislation would enact a similar prohibition until DEC is able to adopt protective treatment standards.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012- A.7987-C: Ordered to third reading cal.52

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that section two shall take effect January 1, 2019.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7783 IN SENATE June 9, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. O'BRIEN, TKACZYK -- 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 wastewater treatment facilities THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 17-0513 to read as follows: S 17-0513. STANDARDS OF PERFORMANCE FOR WASTEWATER FACILITIES. NO WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY IN THE STATE SHALL ACCEPT ANY WASTE- WATER FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS UNLESS SUCH FACILITY MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN SECTION 17-0709 OF THIS ARTICLE. S 2. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new section 17-0709 to read as follows: S 17-0709. WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITIES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED IN SUBDIVISION TWENTY-ONE OF SECTION 17-0105 OF THIS ARTICLE, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE FOR THE CONTROL OF THE DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS FROM FACILITIES WHICH TREAT WASTEWATER FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS. THIS STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE SHALL PERMIT NO DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS, OR IF NOT FEASIBLE, SHALL REFLECT THE GREATEST DEGREE OF EFFLUENT REDUCTION ACHIEVABLE THROUGH APPLICATION OF THE BEST AVAILABLE DEMONSTRATED CONTROL TECHNOLO- GY, PROCESSES, OPERATING METHODS, OR OTHER ALTERNATIVES. THIS STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DETERMINES THAT A GREATER DEGREE OF EFFLUENT LIMITATION IS ACHIEVABLE BY THIS CATEGORY OF FACILITIES, AT WHICH TIME THIS STANDARD OF PERFORMANCE SHALL BE SUPERSEDED BY SUCH FEDERAL STANDARD. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that section two of this act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

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