Last Update: 11 AUG 2012 | Currently, there is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the state of New York. However, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo has been waiting indefinitely to make a decision about the duration of the moratorium, and the final verdict on whether or not New York state will allow hydraulic fracturing. The ‘rumor’ is that it will be allowed, in some form, at some time. “Rumors”, which are now essentially developing, indicate there are plans to open up fracking activities in the Southern Tier of New York.
Wikipedia: The New York City watershed includes a large area of the Marcellus shale formation. The NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection’s position: “While DEP is mindful of the potential economic opportunity that this represents for the State, hydraulic fracturing poses an unacceptable threat to the unfiltered water supply of nine million New Yorkers and cannot safely be permitted with the New York City watershed.”
State Level: The New York State assembly voted 93 to 43, Nov. 30, 2010, to place a moratorium or freeze on hydraulic fracturing to give the state more time to undertake safety and environmental concerns.
Municipal Level: At the municipal level, some towns and cities in central New York state have moved to regulate drilling by hydraulic fracturing and its attendant effects, either by banning it within municipal limits, maintaining the option to do so in the future, or banning wastewater from the drilling process from municipal water treatment plants.
Official Reports and Studies
There are obviously many such reports to sift through, and there is quite a bit of controversy about who funds what reports, and whether or not product is biased. I endeavor to find quality reports and will, time permitting, try to review them.
- Final Impact Assessment Report: Impact Assessment of Natural Gas Production in the New York City Water Supply Watershed (23 DEC 2009)
This is one of the widely cited studies that has to do with why New York City has rejected fracking that may contaminate its water supply.
- COMMENTS ON THE NY DEC DRAFT OF SUPPLEMENTAL GENERIC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (DSGEIS) FOR GAS DRILLING By the Otsego Lake Watershed Supervisory Committee October 2009
“The bottom-line conclusion of DEP is that gas drilling, as currently defined in the dSGEIS, is incompatible with the operation of the NYC watershed and should be prohibited. In addition, the DEP is recommending to DEC that the dSGEIS be rescinded because it failsto adequately address the risks to the watershed. The DEP has also requested the NYSDOH to conduct a study of the public health threat posed by long-term exposure to low levels of toxic chemicals.”
- Natural Gas Drilling in Marcellus Shale – New York City Department of Environmental Protection - NYC DEP’s homepage for information fracking in NY/C
- Hydraulic Fracturing in New York | Vox Pop : Fracking : 8/8/12 (Audio) | Learnist - Great discussion on WAMC, North East Public Radio. Many good leads to follow.
- Details Emerge on Cuomo’s Plan to Allow Limited Fracking in New York | www.ithacaindy.com (9 AUG 2012)
After much considering, I’ve decided to make an effort to turn this very specific situation into an actual case study on my website. What happens in New York, I believe, will set a certain amount of precedence for the rest of the United States of America, and potentially the world. At the very least, it will affect my life…
For those of you who don’t know, I was born in raised in New York state. I take this issues seriously, and I can openly say that I have not taken a side yet on this issue. I have been and will be highly critical of natural gas companies, because I know that unless there is severe regulatory pressure, bad things can happen, whatever the industry.
If I can determine that hydraulic fracturing is something worth supporting – I will do it. I have no illusions about its benefits in terms of domestic energy creation and the economy, and potential environmental benefits as per carbon emissions. But there are many related issues, in terms of the economic potential of the gas, and the overall environmental damage (that I believe would extend beyond simply carbon emissions). I’m going to be very frank and document how I’m leaning and why, which, as far as I know, is something most people don’t do – especially people trying to be experts. But I’m personally fed up with the only stories we hear coming from very obvious backgrounds – if it’s from the industry, it’s in favor of shale gas development. If it’s from an environmentalist group, it’s anti-gas. Maybe there is no in between. But how can someone who is ‘neither’, or an average person, actually make a real decision about this?
That’s what I’ll try to foster.
The Page, which will be set up after this one becomes too large, is in the works, and will contain as many relevant articles as I can. I will also be using the new platform over at Learnist (see here) to help me document and collect articles, and hopefully further discussion.
I welcome all comments and hope we can learn and make the best possible decision for the future of New York, the USA, and the world.
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Jesse Parent is a researcher, analyst, and editor focusing on energy & resources, technology, and global affairs. For more of Jesse’s thoughts throughout the week and to see what news he’s following, you are invited to join the conversation via Twitter and Facebook. Visit Jesse Parent [INFLUENCE] to view Case Studies, Commentary and more.
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- CASE STUDY: Fukushima I (Dai-ichi) Nuclear Power Plant (jpinfluence.com)
- Hinchey Urges New York to Take Stronger Steps on Fracking (thecatskillchronicle.com)
- Opponents Want Fracking Draft Regulations Withdrawn (theepochtimes.com)
- NY anti-fracking movement gets star-studded boost (troyrecord.com)
- Fracking in New York: Is It Worth The Risk? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Industry analysis pokes holes in EPA hydraulic fracturing study (fuelfix.com)
- Insurance Company Won’t Cover Fracking Damage (huffingtonpost.com)
- “The Sky is Pink” a video warning about hydrofracking in NY (nyaltnews.com)
- Worker Exposure to Silica Significant During Hydraulic Fracturing (futureenv.blogspot.com)
- Report: Don’t worry much about quakes and fracking (fuelfix.com)
- Hydraulic fracturing, what’s that? (mining.com)
- Op-Ed Contributor: The Wise Way to Regulate Hydraulic Fracturing (nytimes.com)
- Natural Gas: Movements Into Storage Suggest Glut Will Soon Disappear (seekingalpha.com)
- Cornell researcher rebuts colleagues on fracking leaks (fuelfix.com)