Background: Today, Governor Cuomo signed S.3392 (May)/A.2655 (Englebright) into law, closing a hazardous waste loophole that has allowed over 640,000 tons of waste from fracking sites in Pennsylvania to be poorly disposed of in the state. New York has become first in the US to ensure that oil and gas waste that meets the definition of “hazardous” is regulated as such. Efforts are underway in Pennsylvania to take similar action.
Statement of Earthworks’ Policy Analyst Melissa Troutman, who lives near fracking operations in northern PA:
“New York has set a powerful precedent to treat hazardous oil and gas waste for what it is. Governor Cuomo’s action ensures New York continues to be forward-thinking on climate and health in many ways by requiring oil and gas companies to properly handle their waste.
“Communities like mine in northern PA will be safer when the industry’s waste, which can contain hazardous materials, is properly analyzed before transport through our region on its way to New York state.
“This victory for the health and safety of communities should be quickly repeated in Pennsylvania, the origin of NY’s fracking waste, and ultimately adopted by Congress. All communities in the United States deserve protection from potentially hazardous and radioactive oil and gas waste.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Earthworks’ New York Frack Waste Report (2019) and national Still Wasting Away (2019) report
- One-pager summary on NY hazardous waste problem: “The Case for Closing New York’s Oil and Gas Waste Loophole.”
- Rolling Stone article on radioactivity of oil and gas waste: “America’s Radioactive Secret”
- Press statement of NY State Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida)