NEW YORK — Today, the New York State Assembly passed legislation (A903) sponsored by Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell that prohibits the use of drilling fluids, brine and flowback water from wells, pools or fields for de-icing highways or suppressing road dust. Regulations controlling road de-icing fluids still vary widely between localities, even though evidence shows that these substances negatively impact the environment.
Assembly Member O’Donnell said: “Our fight to maintain safe and clean drinking water did not end when New York banned fracking. We continue to feel the impact of extraction-related activities — especially in the summer and winter when we use hydrofracking byproducts to clear our roadways. By-products like brine contain salts, and radioactive and organic contaminants that are often many times higher than drinking water standards. These pollutants can make their way from our roads into aquifers and waterways, where they are shown to have devastating effects on the health and safety of New Yorkers. I’m proud to have sponsored this important piece of legislation that furthers New York’s environmental stewardship and demonstrates our commitment to end fracking. I want to thank Senator Brad Hoylman and all of the advocates that have fought hard and sounded the alarm on the dangers of hydrofracking by-products.”
For years, advocates and federal officials have been sounding the alarm on New York’s waste disposal practices, with the EPA ruling that the state should ban the use of fracking brine on roads and warning of limited capacity at out-of-state treatment plants to handle polluted water. If signed into law, this bill would codify the DEC’s 2017 prohibition on fracking waste and extend the ban--already law in 15 localities--to the state level.