After a state report pinpointed a West Babylon sewage treatment facility as a potential site for the treatment of waste from hydraulic fracturing, two county legislators have created a measure that would prevent the treatment of that waste in Suffolk County.
Suffolk County Legis. Kara Hahn, D-Setauket, and Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley, D-Lindenhurst, filed a bill that would prevent hydraulic fracturing waste from being treated at the Bergen Point Sewage Treatment Plant in West Babylon or any other similar facility in Suffolk.
Hydrofracking, as it's called, is a process by which large amounts of water and chemicals are used to extract natural gas from the earth. According to the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, hydrofracking "is under-regulated and poses serious threats to New York State’s water, air, land, and people."
Hahn said in a statement that she is dumbfounded that Long Island – which she called an "environmentally sensitive area" – is being considered as a site for treatment of dangerous hydrofracking waste. Four facilities in Nassau County were also pinpointed by the state as potential flowback treatment sites.
Hahn said hydrofracking in places like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York is threatening the drinking water in those places, with the possibility of Long Island being a receiving point for its toxin-laden byproducts. Now is "a critical time to confront this possibility," Hahn said.
"Our facilities are not equipped to deal with the kind of chemical concoction used at these sites and would ultimately result in this waste being untreated and discharged directly into the Atlantic Ocean," she said.
Hahn and Horsley will introduce the measure at the legislature's full meeting on March 13, and it could be up for a vote as early as March 27.