NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A5424B
SPONSOR: Sweeney (MS)
TITLE OF BILL: An act suspending the issuance of permits for the
drilling of wells for natural gas extraction in certain areas; and
providing for the repeal of such provision upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to impose a moratorium on the issuance of
certain natural gas drilling permits.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
This bill would prohibit horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic
fracturing for natural gas or oil drilling for three years.
High volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) is a method of
extracting natural gas from underground shale formations. The HVHF proc-
ess typically includes the introduction of millions of gallons of frac-
turing fluid - a mixture of water, proppants and chemicals - under high
pressure into a previously drilled wellbore. Oil and gas development
utilizing HVHF involves the use and/or production of numerous toxic and
hazardous air and water contaminants, a number of them known or
suspected carcinogens. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF has also
been associated with a range of adverse environmental impacts, including
impacts to water and air quality, land and habitat, and community char-
acter. Oil and gas development utilizing HVHF has also been associated
with a range of reported impacts to human health, including respiratory,
cardiovascular, neurological and immune system ailments, as well as
birth defects. Only recently, however, has the scientific community
begun to examine more comprehensively the potential public health
impacts associated with oil and gas development utilizing HVHF.
A number of the most recently published scientific papers relating to
the potential health impacts associated with oil and gas development
utilizing HVHF suggest reasons for concern. For example, recent studies
in Colorado and Pennsylvania have indicated an increased risk of birth
defects for children born to mothers living in close proximity to
natural gas wells. In addition, researchers in Colorado have found
increased levels of air and water pollutants that have been shown to
pose risks to human health, as well as increased risk of cancer and
endocrinological disorders, within close proximity to gas wells.
The people of the state of New York should be properly informed of any
and all potential public health impacts posed by horizontal gas drilling
utilizing HVHF and their related activities. Such analysis and informa-
tion should serve as a tool for the people and their representatives to
make informed decisions regarding actions to be taken with respect to
horizontal gas drilling and HVHF activities in the state. There are
currently a number of important and potentially significant health
impact studies underway that may produce information that will allow for
better informed decision making regarding horizontal gas drilling and
HVHF activities in New York. For example, key studies are being under-
taken by Geisinger Health System (in Pennsylvania), the University of
Pennsylvania Center for Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Colorado
State University, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Duke Univer-
sity, as well as by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances Disease
Registry and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Most of these studies are not expected to produce meaningful results for
a period of three or more years.
Delaying the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) ability to
issue permits will provide the Legislature with additional time to
assess the true public health and environmental impacts of hydraulic
fracturing. This bill will also help ensure the Legislature has adequate
time to review DEC's Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement
(SGEIS) once it is produced. Such a moratorium will allow for a thor-
ough, deliberate and unrushed analysis of all of the factors involved.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2013: A.5424-A (Sweeney) - Passed the Assembly.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed thirty-six
months after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK
Cal. No. 254
2013-2014 Regular Sessions
February 26, 2013
Introduced by M. of A. SWEENEY, SILVER, FARRELL, LIFTON, GOTTFRIED,
WEISENBERG, COLTON, BRENNAN, GLICK, CYMBROWITZ, O'DONNELL, JAFFEE,
KAVANAGH, ZEBROWSKI, ABINANTI, OTIS, ENGLEBRIGHT, DINOWITZ, MARKEY,
PAULIN, MILLMAN, JACOBS, COOK, MILLER, ROBINSON, GALEF, BRAUNSTEIN,
SCARBOROUGH, CLARK, PERRY, ROBERTS, HOOPER, KELLNER, CAHILL, ROSEN-
THAL, PEOPLES-STOKES, ROZIC, BRINDISI, ORTIZ, SKARTADOS, STECK,
SEPULVEDA, WEPRIN, FAHY, GUNTHER, RUSSELL, SKOUFIS -- Multi-Sponsored
by -- M. of A. AUBRY, BUCHWALD, CRESPO, HEVESI, LAVINE, LENTOL,
MAGNARELLI, NOLAN, RIVERA, RYAN, SCHIMEL, SIMANOWITZ, THIELE, TITONE,
WEINSTEIN -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental
Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted
as amended and recommitted to said committee -- advanced to a third
reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the
order of third reading
AN ACT suspending the issuance of permits for the drilling of wells for
natural gas extraction in certain areas; and providing for the repeal
of such provision upon expiration thereof
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. No horizontal natural gas or oil drilling or high-volume
2 hydraulic fracturing shall be conducted in the state, and the department
3 of environmental conservation shall issue no permits for the drilling of
4 a well for extraction of oil or natural gas that would involve the use
5 of horizontal drilling or high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
6 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
7 deemed repealed 36 months after such effective date.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.