It is not as yet on the bill look-up sites, but there is a newly introduced bill that would change the way in which wastes from fracking were handled– whether produced from wells fracked in NY, or trucked in from gas wells in other states. Currently, wastes that are produced in conjunction with oil and gas exploration are exempt from the regulations requiring special handling, such as verifying that they arrive at their final destination, and that the destination is properly licensed to accept hazardous waste.
Below is the sponsor’s memo for this bill. Check back, I will post links to text of the bill as soon as it is available.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Section 1(e)
( X ) Memo on original draft of bill
( ) Memo on amended bill
BILL NUMBER: Assembly: 7013
SPONSORS: Member(s) of Assembly: Sweeney
TITLE OF BILL: An Act to amend the Environmental Conservation Law, in relation to the uniform
treatment of waste.
PURPOSE: To require hazardous wastes produced from oil and natural gas activities to be subject to
the requirements for treatment of hazardous wastes.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends section 27-0903 of the
Environmental Conservation Law to add a new section that would classify all waste resulting from oil
or natural gas production activities as hazardous waste, if such waste meets the definition of hazardous
wastes set forth in the Environmental Conservation Law. This section also directs the Department of
Environmental Conservation to make all necessary changes to bring its rules and regulations into
Section two contains the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently, the regulations promulgated by the Department of Environmental
Conservation that govern the waste produced by the oil and natural gas industries exempt “drilling
fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with the exploration, development or production
of crude oil, natural gas or geothermal energy” from being regulated as hazardous waste. This
exemption is in place despite the fact that the waste resulting from the exploration, development,
extraction and production of crude oil and natural gas may be hazardous in many instances.
This legislation would supersede that regulation and ensure that when waste from these operations
meets the definition of hazardous waste, that it be treated in a manner consistent with other hazardous
wastes. Failure to properly classify waste that meets this threshold could present a real danger to
public health and the environment. If not treated properly, hazardous waste can, among other
concerns, lead to contaminated air, drinking water, soil, and food. There is no compelling reason why
waste produced from oil and natural gas activities that meets the definition of hazardous waste, should
not be subject to the same laws regarding generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal as
other hazardous wastes.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is new legislation.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.