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Coalition urging state to close fracking waste loophole

Apr 30, 2020 1:30 pm
Jessica Barr is reporting for The Legislative Gazette a coalition of 129 environmental, health and community groups have called on the state Senate and Assembly to close a loophole in state regulations that exempts certain oil and gas waste from being regulated as hazardous waste. In 2015, New York banned the high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking process by executive order and that order was codified with the state's 2021 fiscal year budget. But New York still allows out-of-state fracking waste to be trucked in for disposal and other uses. The oil and gas waste is dumped into landfills and has been used for de-icing or dust suppression on roads. The waste can be highly toxic and radioactive, according to Melissa Troutman, research and policy analyst from Earthworks. Legislation has been introduced would require fracking waste be subject to the same requirements for treatment that apply to all other hazardous wastes. According to a study published in 2011, the adverse health effects from chemicals used in natural gas operations are extensive. Nearly 90 percent are associated with harm to skin, eye and sensory organs and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Twenty-five percent could cause cancer and mutations. Read the full story in The Legislative Gazette.