News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > Fracking/Gas Drilling > New York State Legislature passes bill to close the fracking waste loophole 

New York State Legislature passes bill to close the fracking waste loophole 

Albany, N.Y. — The New York State Legislature voted to close the oil & gas waste loophole after nearly a decade of advocacy from Riverkeeper and our partners. The oil and gas industry enjoys a special exemption from New York State requirements governing the treatment of hazardous waste. Although waste from oil and gas operations – including extraction using hydrofracking – can contain hazardous contaminants, it’s categorically excluded from hazardous waste treatment, storage, transportation and disposal requirements due to a legal loophole.

Since 2010, more than 608,000 tons of solid waste and 23,000 barrels of liquid waste have been shipped from Pennsylvania to New York landfills and wastewater treatment facilities for disposal — all of it exempt from hazardous waste regulations.

If signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the legislation (A.2655/S.3392), sponsored by Assemblymember Steve Englebright and Senator Rachel May, would close this loophole and ensure that the hazardous waste is treated as such regardless of its source.

“Today is a historic moment in New York’s fight against fracking through the passage of this fracking waste ban. Although the state has banned fracking, we still allow out of state hazardous waste to enter New York landfills and waste water treatment plants,” said Jeremy Cherson, Legislative Advocacy Manager for Riverkeeper. “For nearly a decade we have advocated to close this loophole and are grateful for the leadership of Assemblyman Englebright and Senator May for carrying this bill forward.”

 

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