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County Bans Use of Hydrofracking Byproduct Brine on County Roads and Property

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County Bans Use of Hydrofracking Byproduct Brine on County Roads and Property

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera was excused), passed a resolution prohibiting the use on County roads and property of brine containing the byproducts from hydrofracking.

The measure "bans the spraying, depositing, placing of all hydrofracking byproducts, including brine liquid, upon roads and properties for which Tompkins County is responsible" and indicates that the prohibition will be reflected in relevant bidding documents and contracts. County officials have learned that there are certain areas adjacent to hydrofracking sites where roads are being sprayed with hydrofracking byproduct brine, for uses such as deicing and dust control. The measure notes that the Legislature recognizes the dangers of additional harmful contents contained within the fluid and, therefore, wishes to prohibit its use on County roads and properties.

Legislator Mike Lane inquired as to whether the County could pass a local law banning use of such fluid anywhere in the county, and Legislator Frank Proto suggested local stormwater regulations could offer some regulatory authority. Further investigation is in process.