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fracking Environmental Leader

Fracking Wastewater Ban Moves Forward in NYC

fracking Environmental LeaderUsing fracking wastewater to de-ice roads in New York City will likely soon be illegal, following a City Council vote to ban the practice.

The bill now goes to Mayor Bill de Blasio. RT reports that sponsors of the bill are confident that de Blasio will sign it into law.

Fracking wastewater has a high brine content, which makes it useful in salinating roads icy roads. The waste also contains benzene, which the EPA says is a human carcinogen.

Under the bill, the city could issue fines as high as $25,000 for noncompliance. It would ban the use all forms of oil and natural gas waste, including that from oil and natural gas storage.

New York State banned fracking in 2015, following a seven-year study that raised public health and environmental concerns. But, as RT reports, it does permit the use of conventional vertical techniques for oil and gas extraction, which creates wastewater, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation permits the use of wastewater for road treatment.

Additionally, fracking is legal in bordering state Pennsylvania.

The bill’s author, Brooklyn City Councilman Stephen Levin (D), told RT that disposing of fracking waste has been challenging for oil and gas companies.

“One [method] that has been applied is using it for salinating roads, de-icing roads. That’s a significant danger because there are plenty of times, when it is a particularly bad winter, there can be shortages of salt, we don’t want there ever to be an opportunity for any of this material to get into that supply of salt on our streets,” Levin said.

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