Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NY Legislators Consider Fracking Bills

UPDATE: on Wednesday, March 6 the NY Assembly passed the two-year moratorium by a vote of 95-40. 

News from both the NY Assembly and the NY Senate indicate that state lawmakers are considering a 2-year moratorium on high volume horizontal hydro-fracturing in shale formations. The Assembly, which passed a 1-year moratorium last year, has upped the ante. Now they are seeking a two-year moratorium that would specifically prohibit the state from issuing permits to drill in the Utica and Marcellus shale. That moratorium would expire in May 2015 - allowing enough time for some initial results of the Geisinger Health Study. They could vote as early as tomorrow on this bill.

Meanwhile, the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares control of the state Senate with Republicans, is calling for a two-year delay in hydro-fracking until the independent Geisinger health review is completed. The Senators also want two other reviews on drinking water to be completed as well, before the state begins permitting fracking.

Senator David Carlucci (D), representing Rockland and Westchester counties, told AP reporter Michael Gormley, "We have to put science first; we have to put the health of New Yorkers first."


  1. Excellent news. But it should be noted that there are three studies it points to: an EPA investigation of the possible harmful effects of fracking on drinking water (final draft expected sometime in 2014); a Geisinger Health Systems study announced last summer that will look at health histories of “hundreds of thousands of patients” living near well and other gas facilities in the Marcellus Shale (“preliminary results of data analysis may be released within the next year,” the bill reads); and a recently announced study from University of Pennsylvania researcher in league with Columbia, Johns Hopkins and the University of North Carolina. The Geisinger study alone is not sufficient.