Assemblywoman Lifton Sponsors Assembly Resolution No. 773 Memorializing the United States Congress to enact H.R. 2766

Repeals the 2005 exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act
June 22, 2009

WHEREAS, In the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress exempted hydraulic fracturing by the oil and gas industry, the only industry to be so exempted, from the Safe Drinking Water Act, which was designed to protect people's water supply from contamination from toxic materials; and

WHEREAS, Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting millions of gallons of water and sand mixed with tens of thousands of gallons of chemicals -- some that are known to cause cancer -- deep into the ground, where as much as a third of those fluids remain after the gas is removed; and

WHEREAS, More than 1,000 cases of contamination have been documented by courts and state and local governments in New Mexico, Alabama, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, where hydraulic fracturing has been taking place; and

WHEREAS, These cases of contamination have cast a significant doubt on the 2004 Environmental Protection Agency study that concluded that fracturing did not pose a risk to drinking water; and

WHEREAS, The body of the same EPA study contains damaging information that was not mentioned in the conclusion, and that the study foreshadowed many of the problems now being reported across the country; and

WHEREAS, It is imperative that we protect our drinking water supplies from harmful chemicals that are being pumped into the ground by oil and gas companies looking to produce on more and more land in New York State and across the country; and

WHEREAS, While there is value in drilling for natural gas, it is important that it be done in a manner that does not have a long-term negative impact on our drinking water -- a resource that is critical to human health and survival; and

WHEREAS,Members of Congress are now coalescing around draft legislation that would repeal the extraordinary exemptions for oil and gas drilling from the Safe Water Act and with Congress member Hinchey successfully pressing the EPA to conduct a review of its policy on the risk that fracturing poses to drinking water supplies; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the Congress of the United States be, and hereby, is respectfully memorialized by this Legislative Body to enact H.R. 2766, repealing the 2005 exemption for hydraulic fracturing in the Safe Drinking Water Act; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be transmitted to the President of the Senate of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each member of the Congress of the United States from the State of New York.