Fracksylvania gets gassed, New York gets frack filth dumped on it. Many towns and counties are starting to ban the importation of Genuine Fracksylvania Frack Filth – by prohibiting the spreading of frack flowback on local roads, and prohibiting the dumping of radioactive drill cuttings in municipal landfills. Onondaga County and Erie County have followed Westchester County in that regard. Not a bad idea, unless you think that driving on roads laced with Radium 226 will help keep you alert at night. Or that dumping radioactive shale gas drill cutting in landfills will be “safe” for the next thousand years or so.
The frackers need somewhere to get rid of this stuff, they don’t want to have to truck it to Idafrackho to unload it. So, if your town or county is closer to Frackslyvania than Idafrackho is, you might want to look into passing an ordinance.
Most New York counties and towns are much more likely to get dumped on than fracked. So passing these ordinances is important from the Finger Lakes to Long Island. (Both of which are closer to Fracksylvania than Idafrackho.. . )
The ordinances have to be well-crafted to achieve the intended purposes. Meaning they have to be easily enforced – and they have to survive a challenge from an angry fracker hell-bent on turning your town or county into a fracking dumping ground.
In the real estate development business I sued municipal agencies over a dozen times and generally won – since they are reluctant to go to court and usually settle. I read the Westchester ordinance, which Onondaga County copied, and stopped reading after the third page, since I see some rather iffy wording in this one, see comments in bold. Before you proceed with a similar ordinance, might want to have a municipal lawyer take a look at the wording. They get an inordinate amount of publicity, but I do not recommend Tom West or Scott Kurkoski for this assignment.
Note that in the definitions, “hydraulic fracturing” is limited to shale gas formations, when hydrofracking is used on all oil and gas formations. And “natural gas extraction” is defined, when all shale formations produce radioactive drill cuttings, and the flowback leaches toxins out of the rock – regardless of whether gas, oil or NG liquids are extracted. In that regard, might refer to the DEC definitions, including the use of the euphemism “brine”so that there are no loose ends on the definitions and no loopholes in enforcement .
Note that in Definitions, the banned waste is not limited to shale gas (good) but is limited to gas wells (not good). This may create enforcement problems – since the trucker may claim that the waste is from an oil well, which is not covered by the ordinance, and the local authorities would not be able to tell the difference: the frackers could be lying (imagine that) and the DEC is paid to look the other way (imagine that). And conversely, the ordinance may be challenged as singling out waste from gas wells.
Note that in 532.02, the prohibitions are limited to “natural gas waste” – which would let shale oil waste through, enabling the trucker to claim (ie. lie) that the waste was not from natural gas wells. Might want to tidy this up a bit and simply prohibit all drill cuttings from oil and gas wells, and prohibit all frack flowback from any sort of oil and gas well.