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ProPublica looks at New York state, fracking uncertainty

By Bob Downing Published: July 23, 2014

From ProPublica on Tuesday:

New York State of Fracking: A ProPublica Explainer

New York's stance on fracking has changed drastically since the practice was first introduced in the state in 2008, especially as concerns were raised about the state's pristine water supply, ProPublica's Naveena Sadasivam reports.

She offers a rundown on what you need to know about the current state of fracking in New York, the protections available to the state's major watershed and the implications of the most recent court ruling for local municipalities.

Key takeaways from her Q&A:

  • Does NY have a moratorium on fracking? Yes, New York has a de facto moratorium which is not codified into law and does not have an expiration date. Environmental groups have pushed for a more formal arrangement, saying it would add legal weight to the current ban and provide time for ongoing health studies to be completed.
  • When will Gov. Cuomo decide to permit or ban fracking? Nobody knows. Cuomo has said his timeline is dependent on health commissioner Nirav Shah and whenever he finishes his review. Shah has since resigned and the charge has been handed over to an acting commissioner, which could further delay a decision.
  • Why is the recent ruling involving Dryden and Middlefield, N.Y., so important? It gives towns the authority to decide whether they're willing to allow fracking within their town boundaries. Several towns already have bans in place against fracking. This ruling ensures that if energy companies attempt to sue those towns, they'd still be able to enforce the ban. Also, if Cuomo lifted the state-wide moratorium, towns can individually take action through local ordinances.

More in her full story here -



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Utica and Marcellus shale web sites

Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management State agency Web site.

ODNR Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. State drilling permits. List is updated weekly.

ODNR Division of Geological Survey.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ohio State University Extension.

Ohio Farm Bureau.

Ohio Oil and Gas Association, a Granville-based group that represents 1,500 Ohio energy-related companies.

Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program.

Energy In Depth, a trade group.

Marcellus and Utica Shale Resource Center by Ohio law firm Bricker & Eckler.

Utica Shale, a compilation of Utica shale activities.

Landman Report Card, a site that looks at companies involved in gas and oil leases.FracFocus, a compilation of chemicals used in fracking individual wells as reported voluntarily by some drillers.

Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.

Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.

Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.

National Geographic's The Great Shale Rush.

The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.

Buckeye Forest Council.

Earthjustice, a national eco-group.

Stop Fracking Ohio.

People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.

Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.

No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.

Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.

Penn State Marcellus Center.

Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.

Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.