Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Landfills may be center of New York's next fracking battles

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM

New York fracktivists have for years pushed officials to ban state landfills from taking out-of-state fracking waste. The state hasn't acted, even though the Department of Environmental Conservation decided not to allow high-volume fracking in New York.

But the other night, the Albany County Legislature voted to ban landfills in the county from accepting the waste. According to a post from television station WNYT's website, Albany is now the largest county in the state to enact a ban. And it'd make sense for anti-fracking and environmental activists to try push other counties to follow Albany County's example. 
"There should be a statewide ban," Elizabeth Moran, water and natural resources associate with Environmental Advocates of New York, said in a press release from several state environmental organizations. "However, due to state government’s failure to properly regulate other state’s fracking waste, we commend Legislator [Bryan] Clenahan (the sponsor of the Albany County legislation) and all local officials who are stepping up to protect public health.”

A report from Environmental Advocates says that five New York landfills have accepted out-of-state drill cuttings from wells, runoff from fracked well pads, as well as other wastes.

Monroe County has two landfills within its borders, but neither have state DEC authorization to accept out-of-state drilling wastes. The Monroe County-owned Mill Seat Landfill in Riga doesn't accept any waste from outside of the state or from New York City — a requirement of the county's host community agreement with Riga.

Waste Management operates the Mill Seat Landfill under a long-term contract with the county. The company also owns the High Acres Landfill in Perinton.

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