by Rick Karlin
Hudson Valley GOP Sen. Greg Ball, is turning up the rhetoric this morning, proposing legislation that would govern hydrofracking in New York. The proposals were devised, he said after a trip through Pennsylvania where he said he saw some of the damage to private property that the practice has caused.
Here’s his release along with his proposed legislation which calls for a 180 day comment period. Currently, there is a 60 day period and DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens has said they want to issue final word on the comment period by the end of this month. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though, has said he sees no problem with the current time period.
Following an eye-opening tour in Pennsylvania and an extensive hearing on hydraulic fracturing, Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) is proposing legislation that protects the rights of property owners and sets tough, new standards for safe hydrofracking in New York. Among other things, Senator Ball’s comprehensive fracking bill calls a 180 day comment period on hydrofracking, the full disclosure of all chemicals and compounds used in the hydrofracking process, and sets tough penalties for companies that fail to protect property owners.
“I can tell you right now that the pain that I’ve seen here today, and the pain that I experienced first-hand speaking with families and farmers in Pennsylvania, it will be over my dead body before I allow what happened in Pennsylvania to happen here in New York,” said Senator Ball speaking at a recent hearing on hydrofracking in Katonah, N.Y.
Senator Ball is urging Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the legislature to act on a proposal that includes the following measures:
Immediate 180 day comment period on hydrofracking.
Mandatory full disclosure of all chemicals used and compounds produced during the hydrofracking process. Requires oil and gas companies to inform New York State Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals are injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radiological components were injected, and their fate.
Mandatory water and soil testing by an official governmental third-party for presence of chemicals used by the fracturing process prior to drilling
All fracking companies must agree to sign a Presumption of Causation Agreement with the State of New York.
Mandatory full reimbursement to property owners by negligent fracking companies for 150% of the real estate’s market value of property, based on estimates prior to drilling, and 100% of the cost for full remediation of soil and water. The company will also be accountable for full reimbursement of the land owner’s legal fees.
Mandatory full remediation of soil and water, and free medical monitoring for life. All settlements are not to be taxed.
Allow local governments to enact or enforce certain laws and ordinances relating to oil, gas and solution mining.
Mandatory adherence to an environmental impact assessment process, similar to New York’s SEQR Process, to assess the impact to the environment from fracking.
Mandatory disclaimers and warning statements on lease documents about the risk of contamination of soil and water, as well as the potential health affects, related to fracking spills. (ARTICLE)