Sunday, February 9, 2014

It Never Ends

The question of whether fracking should be allowed in New York is still under review in Albany. In June, the City of Hudson adopted anti-fracking legislation meant to keep the toxic waste from fracking out of Hudson. Now it seems the sought-after product of fracking--the crude oil--may be transported past the city on the Hudson River.

On Friday, Environmental Advocates of New York circulated a letter warning of a plan "to turn the Port of Albany and the Hudson River into a major transport hub for highly flammable and dangerous crude oil." The fracked oil would arrive in Albany by train from North Dakota and be loaded onto barges for the journey down the river to refineries in New Jersey.

The letter from Environmental Advocates also announces an information session about this plan to be conducted by the Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday, February 12, in the auditorium of the Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl Street in Albany. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.


  1. The council's "anti-fracking legislation" adopted last year was particularly weak in regard to shipping.

    The City Code at §325-42 delimits "the disposal, treatment, staging or storage of any waste, by-product or other material generated or created" as a result of "oil, gas or solution mining or drilling activities" (the latter from §325-27).

    If the legislation was intended to "keep the toxic waste from fracking out of Hudson," then it could have been a lot more specific.

    Since there's no gas or oil beneath Hudson to speak of, my only interest in this law was to prohibit the future use of fracking "brine," used elsewhere as a treatment on icy streets.

    To return to the above definition, such a "use" is not the same as a "disposal," nor would it be a treatment OF brine, but a treatment WITH it.

    With water transport there's no need for "storage," which leaves differing interpretations as to the definition of "staging."

    If brine is unloaded from ships, then this flimsy law may be circumvented where solution mining poses the most likely threat to Hudson.

    The law was least specific where it should have been most explicit. And who'd have expected otherwise?

    Whether the council took care not to accidentally prohibit the transport of gas and oil to heat our homes is also an interesting question.

    1. While it's the gas company that is guilty of delivering products generated by petroleum drilling to our homes, anyone with a gas tank in their vehicle or lawn mower would presumably be guilty of the same.

      Can anyone find a provision in Hudson's anti-fracking law which permits us to have gas in our automobiles?

  2. Don Rittner's discussion of this topic, relating especially to the oil-heating facility being proposed, is revealing and very disturbing. See North Dakota’s Crude Trick on Albany, at