Associated Press: Ban on fracking waste proposed by Democrats
ALBANY, N.Y. — Shipping hydraulic fracturing waste product into the state for treatment or disposal would be banned under legislation introduced Tuesday by Democrats in the state Senate.
The four bill released by the minority conference Tuesday would also ban the waste from being used to melt ice off roads and bar treatment facilities and landfills from accepting the byproduct.
Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure to extract oil and gas from rock formations.
While the state has a moratorium on fracking until a review by the health department is complete, it has not stopped the waste byproduct from being disposed of in landfills. Critics say that could be a problem because the liquid potentially contains contaminants and radioactive material.
"Because we do not allow hydraulic fracturing to take place here in New York state, it makes no sense to me to allow the waste product from this process in Pennsylvania to be transferred here," said Democratic Sen. Cecila Tkaczyk, whose bill was voted down in committee last month.
One bill argues that landfills and treatment facilities in the state are not equipped to handle the potentially radioactive waste, which could run off into surrounding land and contaminate water sources.
The Department of Environmental Conservation would also establish regulations for disposal of waste product and prohibit the sale or use of the liquid waste.
Proponents of fracking argue that the industry will bring much needed jobs to New York's Southern Tier and western region, which lies over the gas-rich Marcellus Shale.
Neighboring Pennsylvania allows fracking.