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Copy of Erie County, NY fracking bill

December 10, 2013 - Ben Klein
Erie County, New York is set to vote to ban fracking within the county this week.

A copy of the proposed bill focuses on perceived health risks of wastewater and what the county legislature says "contains toxic substances and many of the chemicals found in fracking waste have been linked to health problems associated with the respiratory system and other organs and when applied to roadways, fracking waste has the potential to pollute surface and groundwater."

From the proposed bill:

"A. Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as "fracking," is not a new technique. But, high volume horizontal fracking into hard rock deposits much deeper in the earth than earlier conventional vertical fracking is new. The new high-volume horizontal fracking is a highly controversial form of natural gas extraction. High volume fracking involves carving 'horizontal' wells into the rock formation to increase the extraction of gas from each well. Drillers inject a mixture of water, sand and chemicals, commonly called "slickwater" fracking fluid to suspend the sand and prop open the fractures, as well as lubricants to speed the fluid into the well. Fracking fluid is injected into the wells in stages that apply high pressure to crack the length of the horizontal well. Some of the fracking fluid remains in the well and some is discharged back up the well, creating fracking waste, known within the industry by varioius names, including, but not limited to, "flow back," "produced water," "fracking brine," or "fracking fluid" that is a natural gas waste as a result of extraction activities. These, and other natural gas waste products, need to handled and disposed of safely.

B. The Legislature finds that the fracking waste contains high levels of salinity.

C. The Legislature further finds and determines that fracking waste contains toxic substances and many of the chemicals found in fracking waste have been linked to health problems associated with the respiratory system and other organs and when applied to roadways, fracking waste has the potential to pollute surface and groundwater."

D. The Legislature understands that some chemicals found in fracking wastes are not treated by wastewater treatment facilities and introduction of fracking waste into such facilities may result in a release into the environment and pose a health risk to County residents.

E. It is in the best interests of the residents of Erie County to protect the health and safety of Erie County residents and local drinking water by prohibiting fracking on County owned land, prohibiting the use of natural gas waste on roadways owned or maintained by Erie County and properties and prohibiting the introduction of natural gas waste into waste water treatment plants owned or operated by Erie County."

 
 

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