Fri April 6, 2012
Grisanti announces legislative package on hydrofracking
State Senator Mark Grisanti unveiled a package of bills today that he says will protect the environment should hydraulic fracturing of natural gas move forward in New York.
At a news conference in downtown Buffalo Friday, Grisanti said his bills would prohibit public sewage treatment plants from accepting wastewater from hydrofracking and would set up a system so that the public could easily access information about the location of gas wells.
The state DEC is evaluating whether to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York. Grisanti, a Buffalo Republican, chairs the State Senate's Committee on Environmental Conservation. He says he has tried to avoid making any impulsive decisions on the issue.
"Since becoming chairman, I have not advocated for or against hydraulic fracturing. I have taken the time to better understand the nature of this complex drilling operation, the extent of the environmental impacts, as well as the potential benefits to the state's economy," Grisanti said.
The Buffalo Republican said one of his bills would give New Yorkers the information they need about where fracking is occurring.
"You create a geographic information system to provide information to the public concerning gas and oil exploration. What the bill basically means is that if this process moves forward, you will know where the wells are, what process the wells are in, [and] when they're going to be completed," said Grisanti.
The proposed measures to be introduced are as follows:
- Prohibit public owned treatment works from accepting wastewater associated with the exploration, delineation, development, or production of natural gas;(S. 6893)
- Prohibit the use of wastewater for road- and land-spreading; (S. 6895)
- Create an Oil and Gas Waste Tracking Program that is stronger than the tracking program proposed under the draft SGEIS; (S. 6892)
- Strengthen the notification requirements for unauthorized wastewater discharges;(S. 6891)
- Create a geographic information system to provide information to the public concerning gas and oil production. (S. 6894)
Hydrofracking opponents turned out at Grisanti's news conference to say his bills fail to address the underlying safety issues surrounding the practice. They're demanding an outright ban on fracking in the state.