New York senator seeks another block to hydraulic fracturing

11 January 2012 22:05  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A New York state senator plans to introduce a bill to re-establish the state’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until June 2013, he said on Wednesday.

New York is home to part of the Marcellus Shale, which contains rich natural gas with large amounts of ethane, an important feedstock for the petrochemical industry.

“The [New York Department of Environmental Conservation] does not have the resources or manpower to properly regulate hydrofracking this fiscal year,” said state Senator Greg Ball (Republican-Patterson). “I can’t stand by and allow hydrofracking to come into our backyards when we are not properly protected.”

New York had a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in place that was lifted in the summer of 2011. The period for public comment, which yielded 13,000 responses on fracturing, closes on Wednesday.

Spokeswoman Emily DeSantis with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said additional staff would be necessary to oversee high-volume hydraulic fracturing operations in New York. The department estimates that it would need an additional 140 staff in 2012 and 200 staff by the fifth year of hydraulic fracturing operations.

In August 2011, Ball toured Bradford County in Pennsylvania to speak with property owners about the impact of hydraulic fracturing.

“I was shocked to learn that many of these hardworking families saw as much as 90% devaluation of their home values because of this big money industry coming into their backyards,” he said.

Ball said the only way to protect New York residents from any potential financial and health risks from the chemicals used in the fracturing process is to enact a what he called a “Property Owner’s Bill of Rights”.

This legislation includes disclosure of chemicals, information on water usage, reimbursement to property owners, free lifetime medical monitoring for property owners, an independent appraisal of the property prior to operations and an environmental impact assessment.


By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653



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