NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1685
SPONSOR: Colton (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in
relation to prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing and the disposal
and/or processing of any fluid which was used in a hydraulic fracturing
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to
prohibit the use of hydraulic fracturing in the process of drilling for
natural gas and/or oil and to prohibit the disposal and/or processing of
hydrofracking fluids and drill =nines.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section
23-0501 of the environmental conservation law by adding a new subpara-
graph 4 which defines "Hydraulic Fracturing" to mean "fracturing of rock
by man-made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimu-
lating natural gas or oil well production. Any fluid used in such a
fracturing technique shall be deemed a 'hydraulic fracturing-nude,
including water or liquid propane gas."
Section 2 of the bill amends section 23-0305 of the environmental
conservation law by adding a new subdivision 15 to prohibit the Depart-
ment of Environmental Conservation from issuing any permit for the
drilling or operation of any well proposing to use hydraulic fracturing
or hydraulic fracturing fluids for the extraction of gas and/or oil.
Section 3 of the bill amends subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the
environmental conservation law by renumbering it to subdivision 4 of
section 23-0501 and adds a new subdivision 3, paragraph a, to prohibit
the Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing any permit for
the drilling or operation of any well proposing to use hydraulic frac-
turing or hydraulic fracturing fluids for the extraction of gas and/or
oil; and, paragraph b that defines hydraulic fracturing as the fractur-
ing of rock by Mat-made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the
purpose of stimulating natural gas or oil well production.
Section 4 of the bill amends the environmental conservation law by
adding a new section 17-0513 to prohibit the acceptance, disposal and
/or processing of any fluid (including drill cutting) used in a hydrau-
lic fracturing process. Drilling fluids include drilling mud, chemical
additives contained in or added to drilling fluids during hydraulic
fracturing process, flow back water and any other residual liquids.
Drill cuttings include solid products removed from the well bore during
an oil or gas well drilling operation.
Section 5 sets an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: As the price of oil continues its meteoric rise due to
demand and regional instability in oil producing nations, the cry for
fuel alternatives including natural gas gets louder. In addition, the
need for job creation becomes more imperative as New Yorkers try to
recover from the economic crises of recent years and the state attempts
to balance an out of control budget. Each of these mounting concerns
compels the State to utilize its large natural gas reserves to alleviate
these problems. Unfortunately, in our haste to find an expedient and
viable solution to these issues the State could easily create a situ-
ation where we put our citizens at grave risk of harm from an environ-
mental disaster by expanding the use of hydraulic fracturing methods of
extracting natural gas and oil.
The extraction of natural gas and oil reserves using hydraulic fractur-
ing presents significant risk to the environment. This method of natural
gas and oil extraction utilizes water combined with multiple chemical
additives, some of which are toxic and have been shown to be associated
with public health risks such as cancer and developmental delays. Unfor-
tunately many companies involved in drilling have been resistant to
revealing which chemicals are contained in their fracturing fluids,
making it difficult for communities to assess their risk due to drilling
operations. There are also additional chemical contamination risks posed
by transportation of chemicals to drilling sites and the storage of the
millions of gallons of used fluids that are produced through the drill-
Most importantly, a large proportion of the stale' s drinking water
supplies come from areas located above the Utica and Marcellus Shale
geological formations where much of the state's natural gas reserves
exist. Use of hydraulic fracturing to extract these reserves inherently
creates a tremendous risk of contamination to the State's drinking water
supply and in turn risk of a significant public health crisis affecting
millions of people both upstate and downstate.
Moreover, communities located above the Utica and Marcellus Shales would
be further burdened by the construction of new roads to accommodate
drilling sites, increased traffic, and potential decreases in air quali-
ty due to emissions from drilling operations.
In addition, the state currently allows hydrofracking waste products,
including drill cuttings (pulverized rock) and drilling fluid, to be
dumped in OUT landfills, spread on our fields and roads and "treated" in
waste treatment facilities that are not necessarily equipped to properly
treat such materials. Much of this hydrofracking waste includes low-lev-
el radioactive waste such as Ra-226 which is a /mown carcinogen and is
especially dangerous if inhaled or ingested. It is not a stretch of the
imagination to see that these waste products could very easily find
their way into local ground water directly exposing people by ingestion
of the water or by inhaling dust that comes from local landfills or from
roads and fields where it has been spread. A significant amount of this
hydtofracking waste is being imported from outside New York, primarily
from neighboring Pennsylvania. Trucks cross New York State borders on a
daily basis carrying this highly dangerous waste into our state and
place many of our citizens at great risk.
The risk of catastrophic danger to the environment, especially the
state's drinking water supplies, as a result hydraulic fracturing far
outweighs the potential for job creation and promotion of a.natural gas
alternative to oil. Therefore, the practice of hydraulic fracturing and
the disposal and/ or processing of hydrofracking fluids and drill
cuttings should be banned throughout New York State.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: A.7218-B/Encon; S.4220-B/Encon
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Yet to be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
January 9, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. COLTON, ROSENTHAL, MAISEL, PAULIN, MILLER,
JAFFEE, JACOBS, STEVENSON, SCARBOROUGH, WEISENBERG, KELLNER, MILLMAN,
ABINANTI, CRESPO, DINOWITZ, WEINSTEIN, WEPRIN, SCHIMEL, RAMOS,
ROBERTS, SKARTADOS, PEOPLES-STOKES -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
BRENNAN, CLARK, CYMBROWITZ, GIBSON, GLICK, NOLAN, ROBINSON, THIELE --
read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation
AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
prohibiting the use of hydraulic fracturing and the disposal and/or
processing of any fluid which was used in a hydraulic fracturing proc-
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Paragraph b of subdivision 1 of section 23-0501 of the
2 environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new subparagraph 4
3 to read as follows:
4 (4) "Hydraulic fracturing" means fracturing of rock by man-made fluid-
5 driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimulating natural gas
6 or oil well production. Any fluid used in such a fracturing technique
7 shall be deemed a "hydraulic fracturing fluid", including water or
8 liquid propane gas.
9 § 2. Section 23-0305 of the environmental conservation law is amended
10 by adding a new subdivision 15 to read as follows:
11 15. The department shall not issue a permit for the drilling or opera-
12 tion of any well proposing to use hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic
13 fracturing fluids, as such terms are defined by subparagraph four of
14 paragraph b of subdivision one of section 23-0501 of this article, for
15 the extraction of gas and/or oil.
16 § 3. Subdivision 3 of section 23-0501 of the environmental conserva-
17 tion law is renumbered subdivision 4 and a new subdivision 3 is added to
18 read as follows:
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 1685 2
1 3. The department shall not issue a permit for the drilling or opera-
2 tion of any well proposing to use hydraulic fracturing or hydraulic
3 fracturing fluids for the extraction of gas and/or oil.
4 § 4. The environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new
5 section 17-0513 to read as follows:
6 § 17-0513. Prohibition on acceptance, disposal and/or processing of any
7 fluid used in a hydraulic fracturing process.
8 1. Notwithstanding any provision of law, rule or regulation to the
9 contrary, the acceptance, disposal and/or processing of any drilling
10 fluids or drill cuttings in this state, when such drilling fluids or
11 drill cuttings have been used in a hydraulic fracturing process, is
13 2. For the purposes of this section:
14 (a) "Drilling fluids" shall mean drilling mud, chemical additives
15 contained in or added to drilling fluids during the hydraulic fracturing
16 drilling process, flow back water that returns to the surface after the
17 hydraulic fracturing process, or any other residual liquids involved in
19 (b) "Drill cuttings" shall mean solid products removed from the well
20 bore during an oil or gas well drilling operation.
21 (c) "Hydraulic fracturing" shall mean the fracturing of rock by man-
22 made fluid-driven fracturing techniques for the purpose of stimulating
23 natural gas or oil well production.
24 § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.