Author Archives: Arlow Linton

NY Dept. of Health Needs Additional Time to Study Fracking, Regulations Deadline Likely to be Missed

New York’s decision whether to lift the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing has, again, been delayed.  On Tuesday, New York State Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah sent a letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens advising that he will need additional time to complete the DOH Public Health Review. In September, DEC asked DOH to conduct a Public Health Review of the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) for High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing.  The SGEIS must be adopted before DEC can release final fracking regulations.…

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Town Ban on Fracking Discussion Results in First Amendment Suit

In September 2012, the Town Board for Sanford, New York unanimously passed a resolution prohibiting any further discussion of natural gas drilling during the public participation portion of meetings until DEC makes a final decision on whether to lift the current moratorium on fracking.  Instead, interested parties can submit further information in writing to the Town Clerk for consideration by the Board. Two environmental groups filed suit against Sanford jointly, seeking to have the discussion ban lifted on the grounds that it violates the residents’…

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NY Landowners Consider Takings Suit if DEC Misses Fracking Deadline

A group of landowners in New York are considering filing a lawsuit if the state fails to meet its February 27, 2013 deadline to release hydraulic fracturing regulations. The Joint Landowner’s Coalition of New York released a statement last Friday saying that they are “laying the ground work for a lawsuit against New York State for a de facto taking in case [Governor Andrew Cuomo] decides to delay the release yet again.” The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment provides that the government may not…

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NY Health Department Report Concludes that Fracking Can Be Done Safely

According to a New York State Department of Health document leaked to the New York Times, fracking could be done safely in the state.  The eight page document is an outline or summary of a more complete report.  However, it is clear from this outline that the full report concludes that fracking can be performed safely if certain mitigation measures are taken. The document explores the potential adverse effects of fracking on human health, on water resources, on naturally occurring radiological material, on air emissions,…

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Environmental Groups Sue California Over Fracking Policies

On Tuesday, several environmental groups, including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club, filed a lawsuit against the State of California aimed at requiring more stringent oversight of hydraulic fracturing practices. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that California’s Department of Conservation is approving oil and gas drilling permits without requiring preliminary environmental reviews or adequately monitoring possible consequences. The environmental groups are seeking a court order declaring that fracking violates current state law and prohibiting any new permits from being issued without a…

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