Brewster, N.Y. – (6/03/12) – Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) is calling to pass his legislation for a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing before the end of session. The bill (S6261) would suspend fracking in New York State until June 1, 2013 to allow the state to catch up with necessary funding and means of regulating the industry and its practices.
“I believe even some of those lawmakers who were aggressively pushing fracking, even they are seeing the merit of our concerns. In other states they rolled out the red carpet for fracking without having proper funding, manpower and regulations in place, and they paid the price in some ways,” Senator Ball said. “I’ve visited Pennsylvania and I saw first-hand the devastating effects that fracking has had on Pennsylvania property owners. Families have had their drinking water contaminated and they’ve witnessed the values of their homes drop by 90 percent and pristine natural resources have been destroyed. As a state, this moratorium will simply allow us to put the proper regulations in place, and do so without repeating the past mistakes of other states.”
Senator Ball’s bill is currently being co-sponsored by twelve other Senators and is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst).
In addition to calling for the moratorium, Senator Ball is currently leading a bi-partisan coalition of legislators concerned with hydrofracking and has drafted the “Property Owner’s Bill of Rights”(S5879), which would set tough, new standards for hydrofracking in New York. With this legislation, these are some of the key items natural gas companies will be mandated to do:
- Fully disclose all chemicals used and all compounds created from the fracking process
- Inform the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources what chemicals were injected, the source of water used, how much water was used, and whether any radioactive components resulted from the process
- Reimburse property owners 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 in the event that there’s any contamination
- Provide property owners with free medical monitoring for life
- Conduct an appraisal of land owner’s property before signing lease agreement using three independent appraisers at the cost of the company
- Conduct environmental impact assessment process similar to New York’s SEQR Process to assess the potential dangers for hydraulic fracturing
“I’m a limited government guy, but limited government should do things well—it should take care of poor people, it should protect our environment, it should take care of women and children, it should stay the hell out of our lives to the extent possible,” Senator Ball said. “But if you’re pouring contaminants into a stream, the government should step in with a very heavy foot.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, please contact Joe Bachmeier: (845) 200-9716.