Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511


A.1046 (Sweeney) / S.674 (Avella)



Uniform Treatment of Waste



May 5, 2014


The Business Council opposes this legislation which would require wastes produced from oil and natural gas activities to be classified as “hazardous” as set forth in the Environmental Conservation Law.

There is no basis to amend current regulations to hold that waste from drilling is “hazardous." The Department of Environmental Conservation has found the material generated from drilling poses no great threat to human health. DEC has determined that there are no chemical issues inconsistent with construction and demolition disposal requirements in both water-based and oil-based wastes.

This bill unfairly singles out one source of waste for this heightened classification. If the intent was to reclassify those wastes that may potentially pose a greater harm to the public, the bill would have called for review of all products, not just focusing on drilling waste.

New York has a long history in natural gas production under stringent regulations. New York drilling companies drill approximately 1000 wells each year in this state, with hydraulic fracturing as a key production method.

This bill is premised on bad science and misinformation that will have a negative impact on economically struggling communities. Natural gas production will yield extensive new job opportunities, provide increased state and local tax collections, and boost local economies and provide long-term growth particularly in areas in desperate need of economic growth.  

For these reasons the Business Council opposes adoption of A.1046/S.674.