Rockland County, NY
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Rockland County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Pollution control — See Ch. 137.
Fertilizer — See Ch. 364.
Hazardous materials notification — See Ch. 282.
Pesticide notification — See Ch. 317.
Sewers — See Ch. 345.
Stream conservation — See Ch. 353.
Wells — See Ch. 389.
[Adopted 6-4-2013 by L.L. No. 2-2013]

§ 253-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "Keep Rockland County Safe from Hydrofracking By-Products Act."

§ 253-2 Findings and intent.

The wastewater from the gas and oil extraction process known as "hydraulic fracturing," or "hydrofracking," is known to contain numerous carcinogenic chemicals as well as many other hazardous compounds. Unable to treat this hazardous waste effectively, extractors frequently truck wastewater to municipal wastewater treatment plants that are unable to effectively treat and remove many of the hazardous chemicals. Many municipalities have passed legislation banning hydrofracking wastewater from their wastewater treatment plants due to the potentially damaging impact of the waste on the plant infrastructure and equipment and because the plants are not equipped to adequately treat the waste.
Further, the brine from hydrofracking, water that has been trapped in the shale for thousands of years, is sold to municipalities as a deicing fluid and to control dust on roadways. In addition to extremely high levels of sodium, which is hazardous to drinking supplies, this brine has also been found to contain high levels of radioactive compounds. Many municipalities have banned the use of hydrofracking brine on their roads.
The Rockland County Legislature believes that the treatment of hydrofracking wastewater in any (public or private) wastewater treatment plant in Rockland County should be prohibited and the use of hydrofracking brine to treat roads should be banned in Rockland County.

§ 253-3 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
The physical act of placing or spreading natural gas waste on any road or real property located within the County of Rockland.
The County of Rockland, New York.
The fracturing of shale formations by man-made fluid-driven techniques for the purpose of stimulating natural gas or other subsurface hydrocarbon production.
All geologic or geophysical activities related to the exploration for or extraction of natural gas or other subsurface hydrocarbon deposits, including, but not limited to, core and rotary drilling and hydraulic fracturing.
Any waste that is generated as a result of natural gas extraction activities, which may consist of water, chemical additives, or naturally occurring radioactive materials ("NORMs") and heavy metals. Natural gas waste includes, but is not limited to, leachate from solid wastes associated with natural gas extraction activities.

§ 253-4 Prohibitions.

The introduction of natural gas waste into any wastewater treatment facility within or operated by the County is prohibited.
The sale of natural gas waste within the County is prohibited.
The application of natural gas waste on any road or real property located within the County is prohibited.

§ 253-5 Provision to be included in bids and contracts related to construction or maintenance of County roads.

All bids and contracts related to the purchase or acquisition of materials to be used to construct or maintain a County road shall include a provision stating that no materials containing natural gas waste shall be provided to the County.
All bids and contracts related to the retention of services to construct or maintain a County road shall include a provision stating that no materials containing natural gas waste shall be utilized in providing such a service.

§ 253-6 Duty of employees.

The County Executive or, at the County Executive's option, any department head or commissioner appointed by the County Executive is authorized to develop policies to ensure County employees are familiar with the provisions of this article and take such steps as are directed by the County Executive or such department head or commissioner to ensure a diligent effort by the County that materials supplied to the County or used on County roads or property comply with this article. This section shall not excuse noncompliance by a contractor or vendor of the County.

§ 253-7 Penalties for offenses.

This article shall apply to any and all actions occurring on or after the effective date of this article. Any violation of § 253-4 of this article shall be an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $25,000 per violation and/or up to 30 days' imprisonment. Each sale and/or application of natural gas waste shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

§ 253-8 When effective.

This article shall take effect 60 days after it is filed with the New York State Department of State.