Brewster, N.Y.– 1/18/2012– Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) introduced legislation on Wednesday that calls for a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York to allow the state to catch up with necessary funding and means of regulating the industry and its practices.
“In these other states they rolled out the red carpet for fracking without having proper funding, manpower and regulations in place,” 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.”
Senator Ball’s bill is being so-sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), and several Senators including Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) have promised their support on this legislation.
“A quick buck is not worth the long term debt future generations will have to endure if we allow hydrofracking to occur here in New York State,” said Senator Carlucci. “Report after report further indicates the pressing need to extend hydrofracking moratorium, which I sponsored in last year’s session. This bi-partisan legislation we are proposing today will put in place sensible regulations that protect homeowners, ensure safe and clean drinking water for millions of families, and avoid the environmental pitfalls that have plagued communities across the United States that allow this dangerous practice to occur.”
Several residents from Dimock, Pennsylvania who have experienced negative financial and environmental impacts from fracking joined Senator Ball in Albany on Wednesday. Craig and Julie Sautner, who blame drilling for a host of chemicals in his tap water, showed up to the Capitol with a gallon jug of the murky, contaminated water that now flows through their Dimock home.
“These two Senators are sticking their noses out for us, putting their careers on the line and they know they are going to be scrutinized,” said Sautner. “It’s time for the other legislators to get on board before it’s too late. As we’ve seen, once you go too far with fracking it’s too late.”
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 extend 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, contact Brittany Oat (845) 200-9716.