Suspends hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas or oil until May 15, 2011; suspends the issuance of new permits for such drilling.
Ayes (9): Thompson, Oppenheimer, Schneiderman, Parker, Serrano, Perkins, Stewart-Cousins, Leibell, Padavan
Ayes W/R (2): Foley, Marcellino
Nays (3): Johnson O, Little, Young
TITLE OF BILL: An act to suspend hydraulic fracturing; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill seeks to place a suspension of any permitting for hydraulic fracturing to ensure adequate review and analysis of the effects of this type of drilling on water quality, air, environmental, safety and public health.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Suspends the permitting process for conducting hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas or oil until June 1,2011.
JUSTIFICATION: The potential for development of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation within New York State has created robust debate involving the interplay between job creation and protection of the environment. Stakeholders both in support and opposition to these developments are aggressively advancing positions that are expansive and highly controversial.
By delaying DEC's ability to issue permits until June 1, 2011, this bill will provide the Legislature additional time to assess the true environmental impacts of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. This bill will also allow the Legislature to properly deliberate the numerous concerns that have come forward during the public comment period on the Department of Environmental Conservation's draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (draft SGEIS). The June 1, 2011 date also ensures that the Legislature will have ample opportunity to act in the 2011 Legislative Session.
Gas drilling carries with it risks of accidents, including blow-outs and hazards related to gas seeping from wells. There are also potential effects on the communities in which shale gas production is located, including traffic, noise, and an influx of transient workers. Air quality, road creation, and habitat destruction all need to be taken into account, but by far the biggest concern is water safety. The large withdrawals of water required for hydrofracking could disrupt surface and ground water ecosystems, and improper management of drilling and hydrofracking chemicals, drilling waste, and wastewater could pollute surface water and/or groundwater.
Given the complexities of the environmental and policy issues under consideration, the need for a one year suspension on the permitting process for development of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation cannot be overstated. This will allow for a thorough, deliberate and unrushed analysis of all factors involved.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8129 IN SENATE June 10, 2010 ___________Introduced by Sen. THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to suspend hydraulic fracturing; 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. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, there is hereby established a suspension of the issuance of new permits for horizontal drilling which utilizes the practice of hydraulic frac- turing in the state. The purpose of such suspension shall be to afford the state and its residents the opportunity to continue the review and analysis of the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality, air, environmental, safety and public health. (b) For the purposes of this section, "hydraulic fracturing" shall mean fracturing of rock by man-made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil well production. (c) For the purposes of this section, "horizontal drilling" shall mean a technique whereby a vertical wellbore is turned up to ninety degrees and drills in a generally horizontal direction for the purpose of stimu- lating natural gas or oil well production. (d) This section shall not apply to permits issued prior to the effec- tive date of this act for horizontal drilling operations which utilize hydraulic fracturing that are subject to renewal. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately, and shall expire and be deemed repealed on June 1, 2011.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD17696-03-0