senate Bill S326

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires a seismological impact study related to hydrofracking

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to environmental conservation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

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S326 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S6903

S326 - Bill Texts

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Requires a seismological impact study related to hydrofracking.

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BILL NUMBER:S326

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/10/12
An act to require a seismological impact study related to
hydrofracking

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
The purpose of this legislation is to inform the people of the State
of New York of any and all potential seismological impacts posed by
the extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and
high-volume hydraulic fracturing and to provide an analysis of those
impacts. Such analysis and information shall help facilitate informed
decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to such
activities in the state.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill sets forth the legislative findings of the bill
as described above.

Section 2 of the bill requires that pursuant to appropriation, a
school of geological sciences within the State University of New York
("the school of geological sciences") shall conduct a comprehensive
seismological impact assessment to examine potential geophysical
impacts that may be caused by the extraction of natural gas using
horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing. A
seismological impact assessment shall mean a combination of
procedures, method, and tools by which a policy, program, or project
may be judged as to its potential effects on the seismic activity in
the surrounding area, and the potential impact in New York state.

Section 3 of the bill requires that prior to the commencement of such
assessment, the school of geological sciences conducting such
assessment shall prepare a scoping document that will establish the
parameters of the seismological impact assessment The scoping document
shall include the analysis required by this act, as well as any other
analyses conducted, and shall be subject to public review, comment and
revision.

Section 4 of the bill requires that such seismological assessment of
the extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and
high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall include, at a minimum, the
following analyses:

a) Identification and assessment of the impact that high-volume
hydraulic fracturing has on seismic activity in surrounding areas;
b) Estimated costs of any seismological impacts to the state as a whole;
e) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential seismic impacts and
the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations; and
f) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluating, tracking and
mitigating potential seismic impacts.

Section 5 of the bill requires that a draft of the seismological
impact assessment be released for public review and comment. The
school of geological sciences conducting such assessment shall
conduct a minimum of two public hearings regarding the findings of


the draft seismological impact assessment and allow at least one
hundred eighty days for the public to submit comments. Upon the
closing of the public comment period, the school of geological
sciences shall categorize, review and respond to all public comments.
If substantive changes to the seismological impact assessment are
made as a result of public comments, such school of geological
sciences shall issue a revised draft. Such revised draft shall
similarly
be subject to public comment and review, in compliance with the
parameters set out for the initial draft.

Section 6 of the bill requires that after responding to all public
comments as required by section 5 of this act, and upon completion of
the seismological impact assessment, such school of geological
sciences shall submit the completed seismological impact assessment
to the department of environmental conservation. The department of
environmental conservation shall make such seismological impact
assessment available to the public and deliver copies to the
legislature and the governor for review.

Section 7 of the bill sets forth an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

As the Governor and the Department of Environmental Conservation
("DEC") continue to deliberate on allowing the practice of horizontal
gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State,
it is imperative that a seismological impact assessment be completed
prior to any final decision.

Recent news reports have shown that there is increasing concern across
the United States that there may be serious seismic impacts from the
extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and high-volume
hydraulic fracturing. The state of Ohio has begun to investigate
seismic events in areas where horizontal drilling and high-volume
hydraulic fracturing has taken place. Scientists hired by the Ohio
Department of Natural Resources have recently determined with "95
percent certainty that the epicenters" of two earthquakes in late
2011 were within 0.8 kilometer of a hydrofracking waste water
injection well.
There have also been concerns raised in Texas and Arkansas where there
are extensive hydrofracking operations in areas that have seen a
measurable increase in earthquake activity.

Similar concerns regarding the seismic effects of hydrofracking have
resulted in government investigations in Europe as well. In the fall
of2011 the British Geological Survey concluded that two earthquakes
were likely caused by hydrofracking operations in the vicinity of the
affected areas.

As with the potential for serious health impacts, it is the state
government's fundamental responsibility to refrain from permitting
this industry until an analysis has been conducted on the seismic
impacts of hydrofracking.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2011-12: S.6903

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Yet to be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   326

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. AVELLA, ADDABBO -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to  the  Committee  on  Environmental
  Conservation

AN ACT to require a seismological impact study related to hydrofracking

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  The purpose of this legislation is to inform the people of
the state of New York of any and  all  potential  seismological  impacts
posed  by  the  extraction  of natural gas using horizontal drilling and
high-volume hydraulic fracturing and to provide  an  analysis  of  those
impacts.  Such  analysis  and information shall help facilitate informed
decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to such  activities
in the state.
  S 2. Pursuant to appropriation, a school of geological sciences within
the  state university of New York (hereinafter "the school of geological
sciences") shall conduct a comprehensive seismological impact assessment
to examine potential geophysical impacts  that  may  be  caused  by  the
extraction  of  natural  gas  using  horizontal drilling and high-volume
hydraulic fracturing. For the purposes of  this  act,  a  "seismological
impact  assessment" shall mean a combination of procedures, methods, and
tools by which a policy, program, or project may be  judged  as  to  its
potential  effects  on the seismic activity in the surrounding area, and
the potential impact in New York state.
  S 3. Prior to the commencement  of  such  assessment,  the  school  of
geological  sciences  conducting such assessment shall prepare a scoping
document that will establish the parameters of the seismological  impact
assessment.  The scoping document shall include the analyses required by
this  act, as well as any other analyses conducted, and shall be subject
to public review, comment and revision.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03397-01-3

S. 326                              2

  S 4. Such seismological assessment of the extraction  of  natural  gas
using  horizontal  drilling  and  high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall
include, at a minimum, the following analyses:
  (a)  Identification  and  assessment  of  the  impact that high-volume
hydraulic fracturing has on seismic activity in surrounding areas;
  (b) Estimated costs of any seismological impacts to  the  state  as  a
whole;
  (c)  Recommendations  for  any mitigation of potential seismic impacts
and the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations; and
  (d) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluating, tracking and mitigat-
ing potential seismic impacts.
  S 5. A draft of such seismological impact assessment shall be released
for public  review  and  comment.  The  school  of  geological  sciences
conducting  such  assessment shall conduct a minimum of two public hear-
ings regarding the findings of the draft seismological impact assessment
and allow at least one hundred eighty days  for  the  public  to  submit
comments.  Upon the closing of the public comment period, such school of
geological sciences shall categorize, review and respond to  all  public
comments.  If substantive changes to the seismological impact assessment
are made as a result of  public  comments,  such  school  of  geological
sciences shall issue a revised draft. Such revised draft shall similarly
be  subject to public comment and review, in compliance with the parame-
ters set out for the initial draft.
  S 6. After responding to all public comments as  required  by  section
five  of  this  act,  and  upon  completion  of the seismological impact
assessment,  such  school  of  geological  sciences  shall  submit   the
completed  seismological impact assessment to the department of environ-
mental conservation. The department of environmental conservation  shall
make  such  seismological  impact assessment available to the public and
deliver copies to the legislature and the governor for review.
  S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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