Legislative Gazette: En. Con. Committee to vote on fracking waste bill

April 28, 2014

By Kelly Fay
Staff Writer

April 28, 2014

The Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation will consider a bill tomorrow that would ban waste from the controversial gas extraction process known as fracking from being dumped or disposed of in New York.

Senate sponsor of the bill (S.5123-a/A.07503) Cecilia Tkaczyk filed a motion to consider in March, a procedural maneuver that forces a vote on a piece of legislation. The bill was assigned to the Committee on Environmental Conservation after it was introduced in May of last year, where it has remained since.

"This is a common-sense measure that would ban hazardous and toxic wastes from being transported to and dumped in New York from other states," Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, said. "Considering the seriousness of the fracking issue, this bill should have been a top priority for the committee and I should not have had to force a vote. Protecting our citizens should be our primary concern, and our constituents deserve to know exactly where we stand on the fracking issue."

Hydraulic fracturing is a form of natural gas extraction where high volumes of water, sand and chemicals are shot into shale formations to release the gas. The state has established a moratorium on fracking until a full review by the Department of Health is completed.

Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee Mark Grisanti, D-Buffalo, has refused to place the legislation on the agenda, Tkaczyk's Office said. However, each senator is afforded three opportunities to file a motion to consider and prioritize bills that have been stalled in committee.

According to Tkaczyk's office, the senator authored the bill after learning that waste from hydraulic fracturing was being brought into the state even though the process has not been approved.

The committee will meet April 29 at 9 a.m. in room 609 of the Legislative Office Building. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Daniel O'Donnell.