February 14, 2012

Legislation Requires Proper Disposal Of Hazardous Drilling Waste

Measure Will Protect New York's Drinking Water and Environment

Speaker Sheldon Silver and Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert K. Sweeney announced today the New York State Assembly passed legislation (A7013) to regulate the treatment, storage and disposal of waste produced in the process of extracting crude oil or natural gas. The legislation passed 86 to 37 (unofficial).

"We have an obligation to make sure that potentially hazardous materials are not disposed of improperly. This must be done to ensure the safety of our drinking water and minimize any harmful effects to our environment," said Silver.

The legislation amends the Environmental Conservation Law. It requires that all drilling waste, which meets the current definition of hazardous waste, generated from the exploration, development, extraction or production of crude oil or natural gas be subject to the same treatment, transportation, storage and disposal requirements as hazardous wastes.

"Currently, there is a blanket exemption in regulations for the treatment of natural gas and oil drilling waste. If the waste from oil and gas drilling meets the definition of hazardous waste it should be required to be disposed of in permitted facilities authorized to accept hazardous waste. To not do so may jeopardize the health of New Yorkers and the environment," said Sweeney.