Legislation to regulate the withdrawal of water from waterbodies in NYS is related to hydraulic fracturing a bit obliquely. While water is withdrawn from waterbodies for many reasons, hydrofracking certainly has the potential to become a major water user if it is commenced on the scale projected by the industry in the Marcellus Shale.
An excellent source for information is Rachel Treichler’s NY Water Law blog. The following is an excerpt from that blog (http://nywaterlaw.com/blog/1103/1103nywaterbills.html) regarding the movement of bills on this topic. Much more available there.
The water withdrawal legislation considered by the New York legislature in its 2009-2010 session has been reintroduced and is advancing. A5318 was introduced by the chair of the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee, Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst) on February 16, 2011. The wording of A5318 is identical to A11436B-2009 sponsored by Mr. Sweeney in the 2009-2010 legislative session. A companion bill to A5318, S3455 was introduced by the chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo) on Feb. 24th. On March 2nd, Mr. Grisanti introduced a similar bill, S3798, a Department of Environmental Conservation departmental bill, at the request of the DEC. S3798 has several relatively small differences from S3455. S3798 was voted out of the Senate En Con committee yesterday. Today, A5318A was amended to match S3798.
This legislation would move New York from a riparian rights system to a regulated riparian system of water rights law. The bills would amend the permitting requirements for public drinking water supplies and certain other limited purposes contained in §§15-1501 et seq. of Title 5 of Article 15 of the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) to allow the DEC to issue water withdrawal permit for withdrawals of 100,000 gallons or more per day by any user for any purpose from any of the state’s waters, except that agricultural users are exempt from the permit requirements. The bills would remove the requirement that public drinking water supplies under the 100,000 gallons per day threshold be permitted. The bills provide that the new permitting requirements contained in the legislation do not become applicable until the department promulgates new regulations.