Mon June 30, 2014
Home Rule

Court of Appeals rules towns can ban fracking within their borders

The Court of Appeals has decided that town governments in New York can prohibit hydrofracking within their borders, whether or not the state eventually starts issuing permits. As Matt Richmond reports, the decision ends a nearly three-year-long court fight.

The two cases involved a natural gas producer, originally Anschutz Exploration before Norse Energy took over, and a Cooperstown-area landowner named Jennifer Huntington, challenging drilling bans passed by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

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Mon June 23, 2014

Marcellus waste ends up in NY landfills, study finds it could be radioactive

Credit Matt Richmond/WSKG

Whenever an oil or gas well is drilled, the material that comes out of the well can include rocks and drilling mud and brine and water. New York and the other states in the Marcellus region allow that waste, which comes up before a well is fracked, into municipal landfills.

A study by the US Geological Survey found that the radioactivity associated with the Marcellus Shale is three times higher than in other layers.

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Tue June 17, 2014

State Assembly votes in favor of three-year fracking ban

New York's state Assembly has voted to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas for three years, but that's as far as the bill is likely to go.
Monday's 89-34 vote in favor of the ban on fracking could be largely symbolic, since the Senate isn't expected to consider the legislation before lawmakers adjourn later this week.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says there's no reason to rush a decision on fracking before its effects on health and the environment are better understood.

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Tue June 3, 2014

Parties revisit home rule arguments in Court of Appeals

Attorney representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy makes his oral argument before the Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg listens in the foreground.
Credit Innovation Trail

The debate over whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders was brought before the State Court of Appeals Tuesday afternoon. The town of Dryden is defending its right to home rule against lawyers representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg says she feels confident bringing the case before the court because home rule is protected by the state constitution and New York isn’t alone.

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Fri May 30, 2014

Doctors ask DOH for more time to study fracking

Anti-Fracking protesters
Credit Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

Researchers and medical professionals from around the state gathered in Albany Thursday to urge acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to impose a 3 to 5 year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York.

The current state moratorium expires on may 15th, 2015.

Physicians, nurses, peer-reviewed researchers and public health professionals are all part of the coalition pushing for a thorough analysis of the health and societal impacts of fracking.

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