by Jeremy Moule
A Republican legislator in Monroe County has concerns about the state's review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
Joe Carbone, who represents part of Irondequoit, has submitted a memorializing referral — essentially an official letter of support for state or federal legislation — supporting two state fracking moratorium bills, A5424A and S4236A. The matching bills would prohibit natural gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations through May 15, 2015. They would also require a health impact assessment — which would be done by a school of public health — of shale drilling and fracking. The Assembly has already passed its version of the bill.
It's important to note that Carbone does not say whether he supports or opposes fracking, just that he supports this specific legislation.
In his referral, Carbone says states that have embraced fracking have experienced air pollution and water contamination. He writes that passing the laws, implementing the moratorium, and conducting the health impact assessment is "the best way to ensure that the New York State Legislature and the people of New York State have the proper amount of time to review the negative impacts of fracking from making this crucial policy decision."
Legislature Democrats sent out a press release today praising Carbone's referral. But they also used it to push for a county ban on fracking and fracking-related activities. Democratic legislator Justin Wilcox introduced legislation to enact the ban, but it's currently tabled.
Wilcox's legislation includes a ban on accepting and processing fracking waste fluid at county-owned waste water treatment plants.