State Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, is proposing legislation that would set up some rules and guidelines aimed at hydrofracking in New York state. Ball said he witnessed damage to private property during a tour of areas in Pennsylvania where hydrofracking for natural gas is occurring. His legislation is meant to protect property owners.
Among other things, Ball is calling for a 180-day comment period, which would be three times as long as the current 60 days now called for by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
“I can tell you right now that the pain that I’ve seen here today, and the pain that I experienced first-hand speaking with families and farmers in Pennsylvania, it will be over my dead body before I allow what happened in Pennsylvania to happen here in New York,” said Senator Ball speaking at a recent hearing on hydrofracking in Katonah, N.Y.
The bill also includes the following:
Mandatory full disclosure of all chemicals used and compounds produced during the hydrofracking process. Requires oil and gas companies to inform New York State Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals are injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radiological components were injected, and their fate.
Mandatory water and soil testing by an official governmental third-party for presence of chemicals used by the fracturing process prior to drilling
All fracking companies must agree to sign a Presumption of Causation Agreement with the State of New York.
Mandatory full reimbursement to property owners by negligent fracking companies for 150% of the real estate’s market value of property, based on estimates prior to drilling, and 100% of the cost for full remediation of soil and water. The company will also be accountable for full reimbursement of the land owner’s legal fees.
Mandatory full remediation of soil and water, and free medical monitoring for life. All settlements are not to be taxed. Allow local governments to enact or enforce certain laws and ordinances relating to oil, gas and solution mining.
Mandatory adherence to an environmental impact assessment process, similar to New York’s SEQR Process, to assess the impact to the environment from fracking.
Mandatory disclaimers and warning statements on lease documents about the risk of contamination of soil and water, as well as the potential health affects, related to fracking spills. (ARTICLE)