senate Bill S3397

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires the promulgation of regulations requiring treatment works to test waste from hydraulic fracturing operations to test for radioactivity

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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
Feb 01, 2013 referred to environmental conservation

S3397 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง17-0833, En Con L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Session:
S4251A

S3397 - Bill Texts

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Requires the promulgation of regulations requiring treatment works to test waste from hydraulic fracturing operations to test for radioactivity.

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BILL NUMBER:S3397

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in
relation to requiring treatment works to test waste from hydraulic frac-
turing operations to test for radioactivity

PURPOSE: To require treatment facilities to test for radioactivity in
hydraulic fracturing waste through the promulgation of regulations set
forth by the commissioner after hosting a public hearing.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Authorizes the commissioner to promulgate regulations in
requiring treatment facilities that handle wastewater to test for radio-
activity levels. In addition, identifies tests to be performed on the
water, including ingredients found within hydraulic fracturing fluids.
Finally, prohibits the acceptance, treatment or discharge of hydraulic
fractured produced waste.

Section 2: Effective date of bill.

JUSTIFICATION: In late February/early March 2011, the New York Times
published a series of articles documenting the gas drilling industry. In
one of the featured articles, the Times discovered never-reported
studies by the Environmental Protection Agency and a confidential study
by the drilling industry that concluded radioactivity in drilling waste
cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways. Perhaps if Penn-
sylvania was aware of this, they would have enforced extra precautions
with handling wastewater and may have ultimately forgone hydraulic frac-
turing activities.

The level of radioactivity in Pennsylvania's wastewater has sometimes
been hundreds or even thousands of times the maximum allowed by the
federal standard for drinking water, according to the Times. Most of the
1.3 billion gallons of wastewater produced by Pennsylvania wells over
the past three years was sent to treatment plants not equipped to remove
many of the toxic materials in drilling waste. In addition, 10 to 40
percent of water sent down wells during hydraulic fracturing activities
return to the surface, carrying drilling chemicals, including high
levels of salts and natural occurring radioactive materials. Federal
studies have shown consumed radioactive waste whether by drinking or
eating can cause cancer amongst other health problems.

What is most troubling is the inability of gas drilling regulators to
keep up with the gas drilling industry's treatment of wastewater. One
regulator feared the more oversight upon gas drilling companies, the
less willing they are perceived to report their mistakes.

Since federal and state regulators are allowing most sewage treatment
plants to accept drilling waste that has not been tested for radioactiv-
ity, it is our intent - should New York State proceed with issuing

permits and allowing for hydraulic fracturing activity - to impose a
measure where treatment facilities that will handle wastewater to test
for radioactivity before discharging such water into our rivers, which
would ultimately supply New York State's drinking water.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011 - 2012 - S. 4251A - Referred to Environmental
Conservation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect ninety days after becoming
law.

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

                                  3397

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 1, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the  environmental  conservation  law,  in  relation  to
  requiring  treatment  works  to  test  waste from hydraulic fracturing
  operations to test for radioactivity

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

  Section  1.  The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a
new section 17-0833 to read as follows:
S 17-0833. INDUSTRIAL WASTE FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS.
  1. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL, AFTER HOLDING A  PUBLIC  HEARING  WITH  DUE
NOTICE,  PROMULGATE  REGULATIONS  REQUIRING  TREATMENT WORKS WHICH TREAT
INDUSTRIAL WASTE FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING  OPERATIONS  CONDUCTED  BY  A
PERMIT  HOLDER  UNDER TITLE FIVE OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER
TO CAUSE TESTS TO BE PERFORMED ON THE WATER DISCHARGED THEREFROM.
  2. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, TESTS TO BE PERFORMED  ON  THE  WATER
SHALL  MEAN  WATER  SAMPLING  TO  IDENTIFY  COMPOUNDS OR CONTAMINANTS OF
CONCERN. COMPOUNDS OR CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN SHALL INCLUDE  INGREDIENTS
CONTAINED  IN  HYDRAULIC  FRACTURING  FLUIDS  AND  CHEMICAL  TREATMENTS,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINANTS SUCH  AS  RADIUM
AND ANY OTHER CONTAMINANTS IDENTIFIED BY THE DEPARTMENT.
  3.  NO WASTE FROM HYDRAULIC FRACTURING OPERATIONS OUTSIDE THE STATE OF
NEW YORK SHALL BE ACCEPTED, TREATED OR DISCHARGED BY ANY  PERMIT  HOLDER
PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE.
  4. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION "HYDRAULIC FRACTURING" MEANS A PROCESS
USED  TO  CREATE FRACTURES IN ROCK BY MAN-MADE FRACTURING TECHNIQUES FOR
THE PURPOSES OF STIMULATING NATURAL GAS OR OIL WELL PRODUCTION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have  become  a  law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the
addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule  or  regulation  necessary
for  the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized
and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08264-01-3

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