Author Archives: Andrew J. Scholz

New York DEC Delays Issuance of Advisory Report on Fracking

Facing withering pressure from environmental groups, vocal citizens and localities, the DEC indicated that it is slowing down its process of issuing final regulations and associated permits for fracking within the state.  DEC Commissioner Joe Martens recently indicated that its advisory panel will not timely issue its final report and that it may take several months to finish the process. The DEC, however, indicated that it expects to issue drilling permits next year under new proposed regulations. Public hearings before the DEC panel are scheduled…

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Albany Fracking Ban Is Vetoed

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings vetoed a proposed ban on fracking within the City of Albany. Mayor Jennings described the proposed ban as “premature” since the New York’s DEC is still considering its final regulations for the fracking process.  As an additional reason for his veto, Mayor Jennings also cited to concerns over possible lawsuits from energy companies. The Mayor was clearly concerned with the two pending New York lawsuits involving the issue of whether local fracking bans are preempted by state law. There are dozens…

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West Virginia Environmental Lawsuit May Be Tied to Pennsylvania Fracking

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission commenced a lawsuit against Consol Energy, claiming that Consol committed “illegal, toxic discharges” into Dunkard Creek, a stream that runs through Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The Commission claims that discharges of chemicals, possibly resulting from natural gas drilling, killed tens of thousands of fish and salamanders. The case is currently pending in the Federal District Court for the District of West Virginia. Consol denies the allegations entirely.…

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Additional New York Towns and Local Associations Seek to Ban Fracking: More Lawsuits Predicted

Two more New York localities joined more than 50 other New York cities, towns and counties seeking to limit fracking before the New York Department of Environmental Conservation completes its final regulations. Significantly, Albany’s Common Council sent legislation to Mayor Jerry Jennings, who has 10 days to veto the ban. Mayor Jennings has not indicated whether he will veto the ban. Those city council members who voted against the ban noted that New York state law preempts local ordinances and, as a consequence, the city…

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Energy Company Commences Lawsuits Against Pennsylvania Townships Challenging Anti-Fracking Ordinances

Texas-based Range Resources, a natural gas company, filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania’s Cecil Township seeking to challenge changes made to the township’s oil and gas drilling ordinances. Last month, Cecil Township modified its ordinance to require that drillers first obtain approval from the township’s planning commission prior to fracking. Range Resources alleges that Cecil Township did not follow proper protocols, including public notice requirements, in passing the amended ordinances. Also earlier this year, Range Recourses filed a similar lawsuit against South Fayette Township, which is…

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