29 Jun 2015

New York state officially bans fracking

It's official: New York has banned fracking.
After more than seven years of study, the state Department of Environmental Conservation today issued the final document needed to ban the controversial drilling practice, known formally as high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

"Prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens in a prepared statement. "High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC's mission to conserve, improve and protect our state's natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state."
Today's finding statement has been in the works since December, when Martens said he would ban fracking because too little was known about the potential health impacts. Last month, the DEC released a 1,448-page report on fracking that began in 2009. Today's findings statement is based on that report.

The fracking ban is not permanent, and could be rescinded. Proponents and opponents of the ban both said they expect lawsuits to be filed.


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