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Fracking Waste Banned From County Landfills

Max Oppen

An upstate county has closed a loophole in state law that could have allowed fracking waste to be dumped in local landfills.

While New York has banned the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing for extracting natural gas, the state allows landfills to accept out-of-state fracking waste, possibly endangering public health and the environment.

Pictured:  From left to right, Legislator Joseph E. O’Brien (D) (District 25); Legislator Alison McLean Lane (D)(District 14); Legislator Charles S. Dawson, JR (D)(District 35); Podium: Legislator Bryan Clenahan (D)(District 30); Legislator Douglas A. Bullock (D)(District 7); Legislator Merton D. Simpson (D) District 2; Elizabeth Moran, Water and Natural Resources Associate, Environmental Advocates of New York; and Ellen Weininger, Director of Educational Outreach for Grassroots Environmental Education.

Monday night, the Albany County legislature, led by Legislator Bryan Clenahan, unanimously approved Local Law “D” of 2014 to ban fracking waste in landfills, making Albany the largest New York county to impose such a ban.

Environmental Advocates of New York spokesman Max Oppen:  "Local Law 'D' will protect Albany County residents from all fracking waste, not just road-spreading waste that they use, they use it for de-icer."

The measure takes effect in 90 days.

UPDATE: Response to the story above. 

DEC Spokesperson: New York State landfills have not accepted and do not accept wastewater or sludges from high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) wells.  New York has strong regulations on the types of materials that can be disposed of in landfills and DEC enforces these regulations to ensure all materials accepted at landfills are handled properly to protect the environment and public health.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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