Author Archives: Arlow Linton

Landowner Group Sues NY Over Fracking Delay

On Friday, the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York (“JLCNY”) filed an Article 78 petition in Albany County Supreme Court seeking an end to the five year de facto moratorium on fracking in the state.  Specifically, the petition requests that the court compel NY’s Department of Environmental Conservation to issue the final supplemental generic environmental impact statement with associated findings and render a final decision on whether and under what circumstances fracking will be permitted in the state. In September 2012, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens…

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PA’s Highest Court Strikes Down Controversial Fracking Law

In August 2012, Shale Watch reported on a challenge to Pennsylvania’s controversial Act 13, a natural gas development law that prevented municipalities from utilizing zoning restrictions to limit where natural gas drilling could take place within their boundaries and granted state agencies sole authority to determine where fracturing should occur.  Last Thursday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the Commonwealth Court’s ruling and found that Act 13 unconstitutionally restricted the power of municipalities to govern gas drilling in their own jurisdictions. The most divisive provision of…

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California Releases Proposed Fracking Regulations

Last Friday, California’s Department of Conservation released a set of proposed fracking regulations scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015 after a public comment period. The proposed regulations would require companies to apply for a permit, disclose information regarding the prospective well’s casing and a list of chemicals to be used, provide written notice to all neighbors of the proposed project at least 30 days in advance,  conduct an analysis of nearby wells and earthquake faults, and pressure-test the well and all equipment to…

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Subsidiary of ExxonMobile Faces Criminal Charges Related to Fracking Spill

Last month, the Pennsylvania Attorney General announced that it was filing criminal charges against XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, for illegally discharging more than 50,000 gallons of fracking waste water from a Marcellus Shale gas well site in Penn Township.  According to an Attorney General press release, a “grand jury found that XTO hired a company to recycle waste water at the Marquardt site from Nov. 4, 2010 through Nov. 11, 2010. After that one-week period, XTO directed that company to remove…

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NY’s Highest Court to Hear Two Fracking Ban Appeals

On Thursday, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, agreed to hear challenges to two municipal bans on fracking.  In one, drilling company Norse Energy is challenging an appellate court’s decision upholding the Town of Dryden’s ban.  And in the other, the challenge is being made by a dairy farmer against the Town of Middlefield’s ban.  In each of the cases the lower court upheld the towns’ bans on the grounds that state mining law doesn’t trump the authority of municipalities to…

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