Tag Archives: hydrofracking

Legislation to keep Toxic Hydrofracking Wastewater out of Nassau County

Environmentalists rejoice. A while back I went on a tirade on how the privatization of our sewage treatment plants could lead to toxic hydrofracking waters getting dumped in our bays – after all, these private companies need to make money somehow, right? Well since then we received word that Nassau County would not allow that to happen (read – Mangano will not allow drilling fluid to be carted to Nassau County? (TOXIC FRACK WATER UPDATE).

Well, now it’s official. Nassau County Legislator (and Long Beach Resident) Denise Ford said, “We’re finally making the necessary improvements to update our plants, and now is NOT the time to even consider inundating our system with out-of-town toxins.” Her bill will prohibit the acceptance of hydrofracking wastewater by any Nassau County sewer facility.

THANK HEAVENS, BECAUSE WASTEWATER IS NOT A GOOD SOURCE OF REVENUE. Now if we can only get New York State to stop hydrofracking altogether… (please email Senator Dean Skelos: skelos@nysenate.gov).

Read the full press release below. Related seabythecity articles are here.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                            March 20, 2012

Legislator Ford Announces Legislation

to Keep Toxic Hydrofracking Wastewater

Out of Nassau County

Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford, along with fellow legislators Howard Kopel and Dennis Dunne, have announced that they are preparing legislation to prevent the dumping of “hydrofracking” wastewater into the Nassau County sewer system.

“Hydrofracking” or hydraulic fracturing, is a new and controversial method of extracting fossil fuels out of the earth by forcing water, chemicals and sand into rock formations and releasing natural gas.  It is feared that the wastewater produced by this process will contain many contaminants.

A recent New York State Department of Conservation draft environmental impact statement has identified four locations in Nassau County as potential recipients of wastewater if hydrofracking commences in Marcellus, NY (on the border of Pennsylvania.)  The four locations are: the Inwood Sewer Treatment Plant, the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, the Cedar Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, and the Glen Cove Wastewater Treatment Facility.

“We are acting now on behalf of all Nassau residents to say NO to additional wastewater in Nassau’s sewer system,” stated Legislator Ford, a member of Nassau’s Public Safety Committee and Planning, Development and the Environment Committee.   After 10 years of neglect, Nassau County’s new Legislative Majority recently dedicated $70 million in capital improvements to its aging sewer system.  “We’re finally making the necessary improvements to update our plants, and now is NOT the time to even consider inundating our system with out-of-town toxins.”

“Nassau County will prevent pollutants from coming to our community by officially banning the treatment of Hydrofracking toxins at our sewage treatment plants.  Together, the Legislature and I will continue to improve our sewage facilities to protect surrounding communities and the environment,” said Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano.

Legislator Ford’s bill will prohibit the acceptance of hydrofracking wastewater by any Nassau County sewer facility.  The legislation is currently in draft form and is expected to be submitted for committee review in the Nassau Legislature by next month.

Mangano will not allow drilling fluid to be carted to Nassau County? (TOXIC FRACK WATER UPDATE)

Larry Moriarty of the Central Long Island Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation has updated us on the issue of hydrofracking water being carted and dump in our Nassau County sewage system. He got some promising news from Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, but Larry me that he hasn’t gotten the same email response from Senator Dean Skelos, so let’s keep pressuring the Senator about this: skelos@nysenate.gov

Written By Larry Moriarty:

Since writing a letter to this blog on the same topic I have had informal conversations with County Executive Ed Mangano and Sentor Dean Skelos. Both expressed to me that they would not allow drilling fluid to be carted to Nassau County. I received an email back from Mangano’s press secretary, Brian Nevin, saying that I could repeat that statement from Mangano to the many concerned groups I belong to including LBSA and Surfrider.

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) and again in February 2012 by a wide margin. 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.

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.

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Follow the progress on this bill here:
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A07013&term=2011&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Text=Y&Votes=Y

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RELATED SBC STORIES:

(Opinion) Sewage Treatment Plant Privatization Plan might FRACKING kill us

The Long Beach Patch reports on the Sewage Treatment Plant Privatization Plan:

The newly formed Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations (NCCCA) is hoping to mount pressure at halting the privatization proposal, which would involve selling or leasing the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway (off Reynolds Channel), Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh, and Glen Cove Sewage Plant to a private company.

 Newsday reports on the Sewage Treatment Plant Privatization Plan:

Nassau Legis. Dave Denenberg asked state officials Thursday to rule on whether County Executive Edward Mangano can sell or lease the municipality’s sewage system to a private company.

In a letter to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Denenberg (D-Merrick) criticized the proposed privatization as a classic “one-shot budget gimmick that will result in higher sewage charges to taxpayers and less public oversight.”

The Long Beach Herald reports on the Sewage Treatment Plant Privatization Plan:

Scott Bochner of Long Beach, who has posted several videos on YouTube documenting the Bay Park sewage dumping, said there should be full disclosure and oversight of the county’s proposal, and that a citizens’ advisory committee should be established so residents can maintain a dialogue with officials.

“Everything is being done stealth — it’s under the table,” Bochner said, noting that many Nassau residents are unaware of the plan. “They’re not giving information out. Why is this decision being made without our input?”

As a taxpaying Nassau County / Long Beach resident, this is definitely something to be concerned about. But, what these articles fail to mention is the following: What’s going to stop these private operators from dumping hydrofacking water into our sewers? If operation of these plants go from public to private, will we the people lose more control over what gets dumped into our waters? Is this a way for our government to say “don’t blame us, we don’t operate it anymore” as they roll around in hydrofracking-money while giving each other pay raises and overtimes. Because that hydrofacking water is pretty damn toxic. We don’t need this money at the expense of our health and well-being.

Wait, hydrofracking water is toxic?

With hydrofracking, a well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater that is often laced with highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium, all of which can occur naturally thousands of feet underground. Other carcinogenic materials can be added to the wastewater by the chemicals used in the hydrofracking itself. (source – Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers)

I’m not sure about the pros & cons of privatizing our sewage plants; it’s the hydrofracking water that I’m more concerned about. I am hoping that our Long Beach elected-officials (Fran, Len, Michael, Scott, John ) & City Manager Jack will take an official stance on blocking any fracking water from being dumped ANYWHERE Long Island, not just the Bay Park Plant in East Rockaway.  All I know is that if this water starts to get dumped into our sewers then I am gonna get the frack out of here. Yep, house for sale, bye bye Long Island. Enough is enough.

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Related SBC Article: Radioactive Long Island, What the Frack?

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
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Sources:
Link to Bill:
http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A07013&term=2011&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Text=Y&Votes=Y

Link to SGEIS study
http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/47554.html

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):
http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/rdsgeisapp16270911.pdf

A response to the SGEIS proposal (comment period closed January 12, 2012):
http://www.gasdrillingtechnotes.org/uploads/7/5/7/4/7574658/schab_margery_wastewater.pdf

Pittsburgh events were caused by the disposal of frack fluids via POTWs into the Monongahela River
http://www.propublica.org/article/wastewater-from-gas-drilling-boom-may-threaten-monongahela-river