New NY Rules Allow Continued Use of Fracking Waste on Roads, Landfill Dumping

For Immediate Release: September 21, 2017

New NY Rules Allow Continued Use of Fracking Waste on Roads, Landfill Dumping

State Finalizes Regulations Governing Solid Waste Management

Albany – The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) finalized solid waste regulations known as the Part 360 series which includes the management of fracking waste. The following is a joint statement from a coalition which has been leading the effort to ban fracking waste in New York State (list of organizations at bottom):

“New York State has missed the mark when it comes to protecting our health and water from the dangers of fracking waste.

Nearly three years ago, Governor Cuomo announced a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing because of the potential impacts to public health. It was a bold move. Unfortunately, in that time, fracking waste continued to be spread on roadways as a deicing agent and, since 2011, more than 600,000 tons of fracking waste from Pennsylvania drilling operations have made its way into our landfills. This places our water and health at risk. New York’s work here is not complete – the responsibility has now fallen to the Legislature to step up and pass protections that fulfill New York’s promise to keep the public safe from fracking.”

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BACKGROUND

Coalition partners include: Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthjustice, Earthworks, Environmental Advocates of New York, Food & Water Watch, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), and Riverkeeper.

To protect public health, the coalition proposed the following changes to the DEC, none of which made it into final rules:

  • Close the loophole in state regulations that currently exempts oil and gas waste from ever being subjected to classification as hazardous.
  • Prohibit disposal of all oil and gas drilling, exploration, and production wastes in municipal solid waste, industrial, and construction & demolition landfills.
  • Prohibit disposal of leachate from landfills accepting oil and gas drilling, exploration, and production waste at Publicly Owned Treatment Works.
  • Prohibit application of liquid waste from oil and gas drilling and production sites on roads as a deicing and dust suppressant agent.
  • Re-classify drill cuttings as Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) to ensure their disposal in facilities equipped to handle the material.

CONTACTS

Alan Septoff (Earthworks): 202-887-1872 x105

Max Oppen (Environmental Advocates): 518-462-5526 x245

Eric Weltman (Food & Water Watch): 347-778-2743

Mike Dulong (Riverkeeper): 914-422-4133