Addabbo co-sponsors bill to permanently ban horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing

NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. co-sponsored a Senate bill (S6906), which would permanently ban horizontal drilling, high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF), and gelled propane hydraulic fracturing in New York.

“I have long opposed hydrofacking in New York State, and now we have proof these activities create clear, present and permanent danger to our environment and the health and safety of millions of New Yorkers,” said Addabbo. “A permanent ban on horizontal drilling and HVHF is critical and long overdue given the significant and unacceptable risks to our drinking water, air quality, environment, climate, and public health,” Addabbo added.

Over the past few years, scientific evidence has demonstrated the serious public health and environmental risks from horizontal drilling and HVHF. Reports issued by the EPA in 2015 identify inherent problems and pathways to water contamination. Horizontal drilling and HVHF leak and release significant methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, making the process harmful to climate change. Studies have linked these activities to increased rates of hospitalization, respiratory illnesses, low birth weight and preterm births, and other health impacts.

Additionally, the legislation would prohibit hydraulic fracturing using propane, including liquefied or gelled propane known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The main component used in gelled propane is extremely flammable propane gas and the process includes the use of many toxic additives. Propane gas is heavier than air and pools on the ground when leaked creating the threat of explosions. Propane fracking presents risks similar to those identified for HVHF including groundwater contamination, harmful air emission, radioactive wastes, public health impacts, and explosions. Gelled propane fracturing requires trucking toxic materials after fracturing is complete which poses a significant danger from risk of explosion in crashes.

“I am pleased to co-sponsor this important legislation which validates my never-ending commitment to protecting our environment, public health and addressing climate change,” Addabbo said. “We will continue to do everything possible toward achieving 100% clean power by 2040, by seeking alternative measures that won’t jeopardize our health or natural resources.”

Language similar to the bill co-sponsored by Addabbo regarding the banning of hydraulic fracking was included in Governor Cuomo’s proposed Executive Budget and will be part of the state’s budget negotiations over the next two months.