New York State Senator Mark Grisanti, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation, introduced five bills concerning the disposal of wastewater from the hydraulic fracturing process.

As currently drafted, the bills would:

  • Prohibit POTWs from accepting wastewater associated with the exploration, delineation, development, or production of natural gas (Senate Bill 6893);
  • Prohibit the use of wastewater for road and land spreading (Senate Bill 6895);
  • Create an Oil and Gas Waste Tracking Program that is stronger than the tracking program proposed under the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) (Senate Bill 6892);
  • Strengthen the notification requirements for unauthorized wastewater discharges (Senate Bill 6891); and
  • Create a geographic information system to provide information to the public concerning gas and oil production. (Senate Bill 6894).

The bills are expected to be heard by the Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation in mid-April, when the committee is next expected to meet.

Over 40 bills addressing hydraulic fracturing currently are pending with the New York language.  Other bills include language to fund a school of geological sciences within the State University of New York to complete a “comprehensive seismological impact assessment to examine potential geophysical impacts that may be caused by the extraction of natural gas using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing.”  The study would examine seismic impacts on the areas where such drilling is taking place, as well as ways to mitigate potential seismic impacts of the activity.  Finally, the study would provide a plan for long-term monitoring, evaluating, and tracking of seismic impacts.