Background: Today the New York Senate approved Senate Bill S3392 that closes a hazardous waste loophole that has allowed over 640,000 tons of waste from fracking sites in Pennsylvania to be poorly disposed of in the state of New York. This follows the passage of a companion bill in the Assembly (A2655). If Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill, New York will become the first state in the US to ensure that oil and gas waste that meets the definition of “hazardous” is regulated as such.
Statement of Earthworks’ Policy Analyst Melissa Troutman, who lives near fracking operations in northern PA:
“As an advocate and frontline resident in Pennsylvania, I am so grateful to the New York Legislature for leading the nation and removing an oil and gas loophole that threatened residents of New York State with potentially toxic and radioactive waste. Communities in northern PA will be safer when the industry’s waste, which can contain hazardous materials, is properly analyzed before being transported near their homes on its way to New York State.
“New York has been forward-thinking on climate and health in many ways, and it is long past time for the oil and gas industry to be required to properly handle its waste, which has polluted communities for decades and could continue far into the future.
“Today the New York Legislature has set a powerful precedent to treat hazardous oil and gas waste for what it is. This should be repeated in Pennsylvania and ultimately adopted by Congress to protect all communities in the United States from hazardous oil and gas waste. Governor Cuomo should quickly sign this into law to protect health and safety while continuing to make New York a leader on climate.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Earthworks’ New York Frack Waste Report (2019) and national Still Wasting Away (2019) report
- One-pager summary on NY hazardous waste problem: “The Case for Closing New York’s Oil and Gas Waste Loophole.”
- Rolling Stone article on radioactivity of oil and gas waste: “America’s Radioactive Secret”
- Press statement of NY State Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida)