hydrofracking

Just a few days after the city of Niagara Falls voted unanimously to ban the treatment of fracking fluid at its municipal treatment plant, the city of Auburn has voted to rescind theirs.

Auburn City Councilors voted in July of 2011 to ban the treatment of fracking wastewater, which could contain chemicals and heavy metals. 

Karen Dewitt

Actress Debra Winger and Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox were among hundreds of anti fracking protesters who descended upon the State Capitol Monday, in one of the largest demonstrations against the natural gas drilling process so far.

Governor Cuomo, by all accounts, had a successful first year in office accomplishing many of his top goals laid out last January. He implemented his fiscally conservative agenda, including closing a gaping $10 billion dollar budget deficit without imposing any new taxes at the time, and getting the spending plan done on time, a rarity in Albany. Cuomo also convinced skeptical lawmakers to agree to a 2% property tax cap.

One of the biggest and most controversial issues facing New York in the New Year is hydrofracking.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental department is conducting a review process and is likely to begin issuing permits sometime in 2012.

Bowing to pressure from environmental groups and the public, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is extending the public comment period on its draft hydrofracking regulations.

We're drilling for gas, planning pipes from Canadian tar sands, and pumping millions of dollars into green energy projects.  

But the energy mix that we'll end up with in New York State is still a work in progress. What do we want to see powering our toasters and laptops in the years to come?

We've posed those questions to a panel of experts, to find out what's being built, how the marketplace might shake out, and what the social and political ramifications are of how we produce and consume power.

The Department of Environmental Conservation held the first of four public hearings on hydrofracking Wednesday.More than 800 people descended on the vacant Dansville Middle School to rally both for and against the controversial natural gas drilling technique.

The Department of Environmental Conservation begins holding hearings on the rules that would govern hydrofracking this week. New Yorkers have watched closely as fracking has unfolded in Pennsylvania and some are wary that environmental abuses could happen here ¿ while others are eager for the economic boom drilling could bring. The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports.

Libby Foust lives on a quiet gravel road outside Ithaca, in a farmhouse with a 360 degree view of green hills, woods and grain silos.

She moved her family here from a farm in Troy, Pennsylvania.

New York will vote "no" on interstate fracking rules

Nov 11, 2011

Earlier this week, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) released an updated version of its fracking regulations for its watershed. 

The commission oversees an area that covers four states - New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware - and provides water to more than 15 million Americans, including New York City.

But a top official in one of those states says he won't play ball on the draft regulations.

The state’s Environmental Commissioner said last week that the process to permit hydrofracking on some private lands in New York State may take longer than expected, and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens even cast doubt on  whether permits would be issued in 2012 at all. Governor Cuomo says he’s willing to wait, if it leads to a rational decision making process on what’s become a highly emotional issue.

The state’s environmental agency says  a key advisory panel will not be issuing a report on the impacts of hydrofracking by a November 1 deadline, delaying part of the process of allowing the natural gas drilling on some private lands in New York until early next year.

The State’s Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens, says the report from the advisory committee, will be not be issued next month as originally planned, partly  because data on costs of fracking  to other state agencies, including  the departments of health and transportation, aren’t ready yet.

Lawmakers in the city of Syracuse Monday unanimously voted to ban hydrofracking on city property.   Julia Walsh, from the statewide network Frack Action says this move sends a message to Albany.

The City of Syracuse is expected to say no to hydrofracking Monday.  The Common Council is expected to approve a ban on the controversial gas drilling method.

Editor's Note: This story comes from David Chanatry from the NY Reporting Project at Utica College

On a rainy night in early September, more than 100 people packed a firehouse in the town of Dryden, near Ithaca, for yet another public meeting about hydro-fracking.  It was mostly an anti-fracking crowd, and Chip Northrup, a former oil company executive turned anti-fracking activist, was preaching to the choir.  

“You can’t depend on the kindness of Texans to repair your roads,” said Northup.

The groups delivered 180 water powered alarm clocks to Governor Cuomo’s office door, as part of their request for more time for the public to comment on proposed rules to allow hydrofracking in New York on some private lands.

 Katherine Nadaeu, with Environmental Advocates, says more time is needed to determine potential health effects of the gas drilling process, which uses chemically laced water to bore into underground
shale deposits in order to extract the gas.

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