by Jeremy Moule
Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature are proposing legislation to temporarily ban the county from treating fracking wastes.
Legislator Justin Wilcox of Brighton is sponsoring the referral. He wants a temporary ban so that the county can study the possible negative impacts of treating the waste, says a press release from the Democrats.
The county's main water treatment plant discharges treated water into Lake Ontario. In the press release, Democrats say that treating and discharging fracking water could have serious environmental and health consequences for the lake and other local water bodies.
To be clear, no water treatment plants in New York are currently allowed to process fracking wastes. In its environmental review of fracking, the Department of Environmental Conservation acknowledged that municipal plants may not be equipped to adequately treat the waste.
County officials said they'd address requests to treat fracking waste on an individual basis. To treat the waste, the county would have to apply for a modification to its plant's state permit. That process would involve a county analysis of the waste composition and the facility's ability to treat it, as well as DEC and federal Environmental Protection Agency reviews.