Nassau moves to ban treating fracking water

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Nassau County legislators on Thursday followed lawmakers in Suffolk in moving to ban treatment of wastewater from hydrofracking at county sewage treatment plants.

Fracking, which extracts natural gas by injecting chemicals into underground rock, leaves contaminated wastewater.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation so far has not approved hydraulic fracturing. In a recent draft report, the DEC identified one of Suffolk's four sewage plants and all four of Nassau's facilities as capable of accepting the wastewater.

In Nassau, Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick) introduced a treatment ban Thursday, while a group of Republicans said they plan to, soon. "This ban recognizes that we should not compromise our environment," Denenberg said of his bill.

"We are acting now on behalf of all Nassau residents to say 'no' to additional wastewater in Nassau's sewer system," said Legis. Denise Ford (R-Long Beach), also a member of the Planning, Development and the Environment Committee.

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On Tuesday, the Suffolk County Legislature is scheduled to consider a ban on wastewater treatment sponsored by Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket).

"Nassau County will prevent pollutants from coming to our community by officially banning the treatment of hydrofracking toxins," said Nassau Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican.

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