Bill to reclassify fracking waste as hazardous, prevent it from getting to NY landfills awaits Cuomo’s signature

Rules for landfills and fracking waste could be getting a lot more complicated in New York State.

According to Environmental Advocates of New York, between 2010-17, New York landfills accepted at least 609,000 tons and 23,000 barrels of fracking waste.

That waste came largely from Pennsylvania. In 2018, three landfills in the Southern Tier accepted more than 18,000 tons of that waste.

The legislature passed a bill called “Closing the Hazardous Waste Loophole.” If signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo it will reclassify all waste from hydrofracking as hazardous.

Peter Iwanowicz, the executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, says the bill will close a long-standing loophole.

“The oil and gas industry is exempt from New York State laws governing hazardous waste transport and disposal, even though a great deal of the wastewater generated by dirty gas drilling [fracking] meets the state’s definition of hazardous,” he told NY State of Politics.

“We urge Governor Cuomo to not delay in signing these bills into law,” said Iwanowicz. “We also call on the legislature and governor to come back soon and adopt a bold plan that makes polluters pay for the climate crisis they’ve caused and provide desperately needed funds to frontline communities who’ve been most impacted by a changing climate.”