Today's the deadline for fracking lawsuits in New York

Oct 27, 2015

Gasfield.
Credit williamaveryhudson / Flickr

Tuesday marks the deadline for legal challenges to New York’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Groups had 120 days to contest the ban after the state made it official in June. Tuesday’s deadline is for Article 78 claims -- that’s the part of New York civil law that lets people contest the decision of a state agency. The agency in this case is the Department of Environmental Conservation. After years of studying the technique, it concluded that there was no way to effectively reduce the health and environmental risks of fracking.

Kate Sinding is with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. Her organization is not worried about any potential lawsuits.

"We are very optimistic that the ban, because it was so well justified, will stand at the end of the day," she said.

The ban is specifically for fracking done with over 300,000 gallons of water. One landowner group in Tioga County wants approval to frack with gelled propane. It’s likely that technique would also get a lengthy environmental review.