This is the last week of the legislative session in Albany. The New York State Senate is blocking all legislation to protect us from the dangers of hydrofracking. There are three important bills that the Senate should advance and vote on.

A.7400 Sweeney/S.5592 Carlucci -- One Year Moratorium on Hydrofracking: As we reported last week, the New York State Assembly has already passed a bill that would suspend all permitting for hydraulic fracturing until June 1, 2012. But this bill will go nowhere unless the Senate passes their own version and the governor signs it.

A.7013 Sweeney/S.4616 Avella -- Classifying Fracking Waste as Hazardous: Toxic drill cuttings and fluid wastes are coming over the border from Pennsylvanian gas wells into ill-equipped New York landfills and treatment centers, endangering the drinking water of millions. Even though fracking chemicals arrive at the drilling site as regulated hazardous materials, federal and state exemptions allow drillers to treat the same drilling wastes leaving the site as standard industrial waste. This bill will update current regulations so that all resulting waste from natural gas drilling meets the definition of hazardous waste under New York State law.

A.3245 Lifton/S.3472 Oppenheimer -- Restoring Local Protections Over Natural Gas Development (Home Rule): This bill will clarify a local government’s right to enact and enforce zoning laws within their jurisdiction to protect them from the negative impacts of oil and gas development. The burden of oil and gas development is an unfunded mandate on upstate communities if they are not allowed to use the most basic land-use planning tools to protect unique local assets.

If you would like to do more, call these members of the Senate Rules Committee:

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos: (518) 455-3171
Senator James Alesi: (518) 455-2015

Senator Hugh Farley: (518) 455-2181
Senator Kemp Hannon: (518) 455-2200
Senator William Larkin: (518) 455-2770
Senator Kenneth LaValle: (518) 455-3121
Senator Thomas Libous: (518) 455-2677
Senator Carl Marcellino: (518) 455-2390
Senator George Maziarz: (518) 455-2024
Senator Michael Nozzolio: (518) 455-2366
Senator Stephen Saland: (518) 455-2411
Senator James Seward: (518) 455-3131