Gipson Commends County for Protecting Against Fracking Byproducts

State senator’s bill similarly prohibits use of wastewater as de-icer

State Sen. Terry Gipson sent a letter March 21 commending the Putnam County Legislature for passing legislation that bans the use of hydraulic fracturing byproducts in road de-icing products. The bill was passed with unanimous bipartisan support and also prohibits the sale of “fracking” waste and its introduction into wastewater treatment plants in Putnam County.

Gipson expressed his hope that the Legislature’s actions would serve as an example to the rest of New York state. Gipson is the prime sponsor of Senate legislation (S.3333) that prohibits fracking wastewater, which contains a variety of chemical and radioactive contaminants, from being used on highways for purposes such as melting ice.

“I applaud the Putnam County Legislature for banning the use of fracking byproducts in the treatment of our roads,” Gipson said. “We must ensure that all New Yorkers are protected from the harmful chemical and radioactive elements that are found in the wastewater created by hydraulic fracturing.”

Gipson’s bill would help prevent radioactive fracking waste from contaminating nearby surface waters, residential areas, school properties and farmland. Currently, this type of waste exceeds the legal criteria for hazardous waste classification. However, under current federal and state law this type of waste is classified as industrial, which eliminates tracking requirements for its handling, storage, treatment and disposal.

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