Radioactive Long Island, What the Frack?

I understand that Ed Mangano is currently working on a deal to sell our sewage treatment facilities to a private company for a term of 50
years.  The deal is scheduled to close as soon as late 2012.  Once the sewage treatment facilities are under the ownership of the private company they will seek ways to answer to their share holders and turn a profit.  Accepting “frack fluid” would be a new revenue stream that could earn huge profits.  The people will not have a say, the facilities at Bay Park, Cedar Creek, Inwood and Glen Cove are already on the list approved by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to accept spent fracturing fluid from drilling sites.

How can a residential sewage treatment facility accept industrial waste that contains contaminants such as benzene and radioactive particles?

Currently, the regulations promulgated by the DEC that govern the waste produced from fracking exempt drilling fluids, produced waters, and other wastes associated with the production of natural gas from being regulated as hazardous waste.  This exemption is in place despite the fact that the waste resulting from the hydrofracture drilling process may be hazardous in many instances.  Ask the people of Pittsburgh about the state of their drinking water in the Monongahela River.

BILL: A07013 would categorize frack fluid as hazardous waste in NY state.  The Bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenburg, among many, and was passed by the NY State Assembly in June 2011 by more than a 3 to 1 margin (109 Yes to 35 No Votes).  This bill would ensure that when waste from fracking, or other drilling methods, meets the definition of hazardous waste, that it be treated in a manner consistent with other hazardous wastes, meaning not dumped in our bays, the Atlantic Ocean or the Long Island Sound.

Despite passing the Assembly over six months ago, the bill has been buried/died in the Senate, which is led by Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos.  Why would this happen?  Why would our water, beaches and food supply be put in danger for money?

As stated in the Bill summary, if not treated properly, hazardous waste can, among other concerns, lead to contaminated air, drinking water, soil, and food.  There is no compelling reason why waste produced from oil and natural gas activities that meets the definition of hazardous waste, should not be subject to the same laws regarding generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal as other hazardous wastes.

Where are you on this Senator Skelos?  Are you really going to let this happen and then come and try to shake my hand on the train platform like you are there for me the next time you need a vote?

Larry Moriarty
Long Beach
Board Member, Central Long Island Chapter, Surfrider Foundation


Link to Bill:

Link to SGEIS study

Link to Appendix 21 of the SGEIS study listing the approved facilities that will be able to accept frack fluid (Publically Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) With Approved Pretreatment Programs):

A response to the SGEIS proposal (comment period closed January 12, 2012):

Pittsburgh events were caused by the disposal of frack fluids via POTWs into the Monongahela River


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11 thoughts on “Radioactive Long Island, What the Frack?”

  1. Is this the same CLI Surfrider Foundation chapter that opposed windmills off the south shore of Long Island? While I’m in agreement about fracking, it would be nice to hear what kind of energy generation you folks actually support.

  2. Honestly, I would take windmills taking over our entire beach over hydrofracking in NY state. You dont want them dumping that water in our bays, believe me. It’s enough to get me to finally move out of NY state altogether.

    Seriously read about it before you start defending it. It’s really bad …

  3. it is the same chapter.

    personally i would love to see bloom boxes available for residential use, i also support the use of solar products as well.

  4. JOhn, more importantly, what I am saying above is that the fluid resulting from teh fracking process needs to be classified appropriately. As it stands the gas companies have a loophole that allows them to ship the fluid to sewage treatment centers for disposal.

  5. The bill was passed by the Assembly again and delivered to the Senate only to be referred to the Environmental Conservation committee again.

    02/13/2012 passed assembly
    02/13/2012 delivered to senate

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