senate Bill S336

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing

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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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S336 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S6772

S336 - Bill Texts

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Requires a health impact assessment for horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; imposes a moratorium on such activities pending adoption and implementation of the final health impact assessment.

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BILL NUMBER:S336

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/10/12
An act
to require a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drilling and
high-volume hydraulic fracturing; and imposing a moratorium on such
activities pending adoption and implementation of the final health
impacts assessment; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon
the expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
The purpose of this legislation is to properly inform the people of
the State of New York of any and all potential public health impacts
posed by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing
and their related activities. Such analysis and information shall
serve as a tool for the people and their representatives to make
informed decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to
horizontal gas drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing
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 a School of Public Health within
the State University of New York ("School of Public Health") shall
conduct a comprehensive Health Impacts Assessment following a model
recommended by the United States Centers For Disease Control and
Prevention and the National Academy of Sciences to examine potential
public health impacts that could be caused by horizontal gas drilling
and high-volume hydraulic fracturing and related activities conducted
in connection with such drilling.

Section 3 of the bill requires that prior to the commencement of
research, the School of Public Health shall prepare a scoping
document that will establish the scope of assessments to be made by
the Health Impacts Assessment. The scoping document shall include the
required analyses contained in this act as well as any other
potential analyses to be conducted, and shall be subject to public
review, comment and revision;

Section 4 of the bill requires that such Health Impacts Assessment
shall include, at a minimum, the following analyses:

a) Identification and assessment of potential localized and statewide
health impacts from horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic
fracturing, extraction and related activities in the state;

b) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts
determining the magnitude, nature, extent and likelihood of potential
health impacts utilizing multiple methods and information derived
from a combination of public health tools including risk assessment,
literature, population analysis and expert opinions from multiple
sources;


c) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts as they
relate to environmental justice concerns;

d) Estimated costs of any health impacts from horizontal drilling and
related activities to the State, local governments, health insurers,
employers and the State's public and private health care systems as a
whole;

e) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential health impacts and
the methods and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations,
which may include potential recommendations against any or all
drilling activities; and

f) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluation, follow-up and
mitigation of potential health impacts throughout the period that
horizontal drilling would take place in the state if such activity is
to be recommended.

Section 5 of the bill requires that a draft of the Health Impacts
Assessment directed under section two of this act shall be released
to the public for review and comment. The School of Public Health
shall conduct a minimum of two public hearings regarding the findings
or the draft Health Impacts Assessment and allow at least one hundred
eighty days for the public to submit comments to the School of Public
Health. Upon the closing of the public comment period, the School of
Public Health shall categorize, review and respond to all public
comments. If substantive changes to the Health Impacts Assessment are
made as a result of public comments, the School of Public Health
shall issue a supplemental draft. Such supplemental 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 upon completion of response to
public comments on the final draft, the School of Public Health shall
submit the Final Health Impacts Assessment to the New York State
Department of Health. The Department of Health shall adopt the Final
Health Impacts Assessment, which shall be available to the public and
copy delivered to each house of the Legislature and the Governor.

Section 7 of the bill mandates that no horizontal gas drilling or
high-volume hydraulic fracturing shall be conducted in the State, and
the State shall issue no permits for extraction of oil or natural gas
using the process of horizontal drilling or high-volume hydraulic
fracturing, prior to the adoption of the Final Health Impacts
Assessment by the Department of Health, as required by section six
of this act, and the State has in all material respects implemented
the recommendations made by such Final Health Impacts Assessment.

Section 8 of the bill sets forth an immediate effective date and shall
expire and be deemed repealed on the one hundred twentieth day after
adoption by the department of health of the final health impacts
assessment; provided that, the commissioner of the department of
health shall notify the legislative bill drafting commission upon the
adoption of the final health impacts assessment in order that such
commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of
the official text of the laws of the state of New York in


furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the
legislative law and section 70-b of the public officers law.

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 comprehensive Health Impact Assessment be
completed prior to any final decision.

Unfortunately, the Revised Draft SGEIS has failed to address any
adverse health effects as a result of hydrofacking. It is a glaring
irresponsible omission for the State to fail to include this analysis
in its decision to allow this industry to take place in New York.
This is especially true given recent and well documented news reports
from Pennsylvania that raise serious concerns regarding the potential
for very serious health effects on humans and animals that live in
close proximity to these hydrofracking wells,

A call for a Health Impacts Assessment is being made by thousands of
health care professionals across the state of New York and in a
recent letter to Governor Cuomo and state legislative leaders,
doctors from across the state relayed their increasing concerns about
the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing which include a range of
illnesses from "loss of smell, memory problems and headaches to a
number of serious respiratory illnesses and cancers that have been
associated with high-volume, slick water, horizontal hydraulic
fracturing." The New York State Nurses Association has weighed in as
well and points to other states, including Pennsylvania and Wyoming
where groundwater has become contaminated with synthetic chemicals,
some of which are known to cause genetic abnormalities and
stillbirths."

It is the State government's fundamental responsibility to refrain
from permitting this industry until, at the very least, a
comprehensive analysis has been completed on the health effects of
hydrofracking.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: S.6772

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed
repealed on the one hundred twentieth day after adoption by the
department of health impacts assessment; provided that, the
commissioner of the department of health shall notify the legislative
bill drafting commission upon the adoption of the final health
impacts assessment in order that such commission may maintain an
accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the
laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the
provisions of section 44 of the legislative law and section 70-b of
the public officers law.


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

                                   336

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN  ACT to require a health impacts assessment for horizontal gas drill-
  ing and high-volume hydraulic fracturing; and imposing a moratorium on
  such activities pending  adoption  and  implementation  of  the  final
  health  impacts  assessment;  and  providing  for  the  repeal of such
  provisions upon the expiration thereof

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

  Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds that the
people  of  the state of New York should be properly informed of any and
all potential public health impacts posed by horizontal gas drilling and
high-volume hydraulic fracturing  and  their  related  activities.  Such
analysis and information should serve as a tool for the people and their
representatives to make informed decisions regarding actions to be taken
with  respect to horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic frac-
turing activities in the state.
  S 2. A School of Public Health within the State University of New York
(hereinafter "the School of Public Health") shall conduct  a  comprehen-
sive  health  impacts  assessment,  following a model recommended by the
United States  Centers  For  Disease  Control  and  Prevention  and  the
National Academy of Sciences, to examine potential public health impacts
that  could be caused by horizontal gas drilling and high-volume hydrau-
lic fracturing and related activities conducted in connection with  such
drilling.
  S  3.  Prior  to  the  commencement  of research, the School of Public
Health shall prepare a scoping document that will establish the scope of
assessments to be made by the health  impacts  assessment.  The  scoping
document  shall  include  the required analyses contained in this act as

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03395-01-3

S. 336                              2

well as any other potential analyses  to  be  conducted,  and  shall  be
subject to public review, comment and revision.
  S  4.  Such health impacts assessment shall include, at a minimum, the
following analyses:
  (a) Identification and assessment of potential localized and statewide
health impacts from horizontal gas drilling  and  high-volume  hydraulic
fracturing, extraction and related activities in the state;
  (b)  Identification  and assessment of potential health impacts deter-
mining the magnitude, nature, extent and likelihood of potential  health
impacts utilizing multiple methods and information derived from a combi-
nation  of  public  health  tools including risk assessment, literature,
population analysis and expert opinions from multiple sources;
  (c) Identification and assessment of potential health impacts as  they
relate to environmental justice concerns;
  (d) Estimated costs of any health impacts from horizontal drilling and
related  activities  to  the  state, local governments, health insurers,
employers and the state's public and private health care  systems  as  a
whole;
  (e) Recommendations for any mitigation of potential health impacts and
the  methods  and evidence used to arrive at such recommendations, which
may include potential recommendations against any or all drilling activ-
ities; and
  (f) A long-term plan for monitoring, evaluation, follow-up  and  miti-
gation of potential health impacts throughout the period that horizontal
drilling  would take place in the state if such activity is to be recom-
mended.
  S 5. A draft of the health impacts assessment directed  under  section
two  of this act shall be released to the public for review and comment.
The School of Public Health shall conduct a minimum of two public  hear-
ings  regarding  the findings of the draft health impacts assessment and
allow at least one hundred eighty days for the public to submit comments
to the School of Public Health. Upon the closing of the  public  comment
period, the School of Public Health shall categorize, review and respond
to  all  public  comments.  If substantive changes to the health impacts
assessment are made as a result of public comments, the School of Public
Health shall issue a supplemental draft. Such supplemental  draft  shall
similarly  be  subject  to public comment and review, in compliance with
the parameters set out for the initial draft.
  S 6. Upon completion of response  to  public  comments  on  the  final
draft, the School of Public Health shall submit the final health impacts
assessment  to  the department of health. The department of health shall
adopt the final health impacts assessment, which shall be  available  to
the public and a copy delivered to each house of the legislature and the
governor.
  S  7.  No  horizontal gas drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing
shall be conducted in the state, and the state shall  issue  no  permits
for  extraction  of  oil  or natural gas using the process of horizontal
drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing, prior to the  adoption  of
the  final  health  impacts  assessment  by the department of health, as
required by section six of this act, and the state has in  all  material
respects  implemented  the  recommendations  made  by  such final health
impacts assessment.
  S 8. This act shall take effect immediately and shall  expire  and  be
deemed  repealed  on the one hundred twentieth day after the adoption by
the department  of  health  of  the  final  health  impacts  assessment;
provided that, the commissioner of the department of health shall notify

S. 336                              3

the  legislative bill drafting commission upon the adoption of the final
health impacts assessment in order that such commission may maintain  an
accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws
of  the  state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions
of section 44 of the legislative law and  section  70-b  of  the  public
officers law.

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