- Outdoor Guide
- Sponsored Content
Cuomo's new plan for hydrofracking: Taking a page from the NRDC?
By Lissa Harris
6/13/12 - 12:23 pm
6/13/12 - 12:23 pm
Anonymous sources, including a senior Department of Environmental Conservation official, told the New York Times that Cuomo is seeking to limit the practice to areas where the Marcellus Shale formation is deepest, along the New York/Pennsylvania border.
Towns would also have to agree to permit hydraulic fracturing within their borders:
Even within that southwest New York region — primarily Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga Counties — drilling would be permitted only in towns that agree to it, and would be banned in Catskill Park, aquifers and nationally designated historic districts.
From the New York Times's map showing areas where the Marcellus Shale is deepest, it appears that parts of Delaware and Sullivan County would also be in the allowed zone, although Catskill Park and the New York City watershed would make much of the Catskills region off-limits for drilling.
The new plan, if enacted, would introduce a new twist in the evolving legal landscape of home rule in New York State. Whether towns have the legal right to enact bans against gas drilling has been the subject of intense debate, two highly-publicized lawsuits and some proposed legislation over the last several years.
It's possible that Cuomo is taking some advice from a national environmental group. Longtime gas drilling reporter Tom Wilber, who blogs about the issue at Shale Gas Review, draws a possible link between Cuomo's plan and a memo sent to state officials in January by the Natural Resources Defense Council:
The NRDC memo asked regulators to consider a three-year demonstration project in several “geographically limited areas.” Depending on the outcome, the state could then decide whether to “advance further a broader HVHF (High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing) program.” The memo was signed by NRDC senior attorneys Eric Goldstein and Kate Sinding, and consultant Craig Michaels. The NRDC proposal was a response to the DEC’s environmental review – called the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement -- evaluating shale gas development and fracking.
Wilber notes that the New York Times story did not explicitly link the two, but writes that the Cuomo plan as Hakim describes it "squares with the NRDC recommendations."
The NRDC memo has taken heat from grassroots anti-fracking activists in New York State, Wilber writes:
..the NRDC proposal has drawn criticism from activists, who argue that if drilling is unsafe in one watershed, it’s unsafe in others. Sandra Steingraber, founder of New Yorkers Against Fracking, characterize the places where drilling will be permitted on a trial basis as “sacrifice zones.”
|WCCRC Invites MBE / WBE Businesses To Be On Approved Contractor List|
|Seeking Grant Writer / Manager|
|Get Grilling and Countdown to Memorial Day Weekend!|
|Open Saurday, May 11, Lunch starting at noon|
|Andes Hotel Announcing Andes BBQ Company|
|A new face at the Pop-Up Market|
|Beeswax + catnip for all at the Pop-Up market|
|Handmade candles and soaps at the Pop-Up Market|
|Celebrate summer's beginning with The Sheep's Nest|
|LIFETIME workmanship warranty on all new roofs!|
|Vinyl siding and roof, Colchester, NY|
|Nominate your house for a free roof by Sunday|
|For rent: High traffic commercial space near Phoenicia|
|Tay Home's first event of the season !|
|MOTHER'S DAY EVENT @ TAY HOME!|
|Fleischmanns' largest street fair of the season comes on Saturday, May 25|
|Re-open Friday with new yummy menu.|
|Artists from the Juilliard School to perform at the Cyr Center|
|Water & Land: May 2013 IPM Workshop|
|Catskills Farmlink: Why Farm the Catskills?|
|Farm Tour: May 17|
|Kick off our 2013 season and the beginning of summer...come to our first performance of the season and get down!|
|Whimsical Metal Sculptures by John Jackson|
|Tamarack log style bedroom set|
|New youth bedroom set, now in stock!|
|New upholstery collection now in stock!|
|Check out our new logo and facebook page NOW! Thanks....|
|Gardenfest2013! And So We Danced...|
|Gardenfest2013! May 11th 10am-3pm|
|Edelweiss exclusive @$519,000|
|Catskill Honeymoon Cottage, exclusive @$149,000|
|How Primroses avoid incest!!!|
|Spring! OPEN! Spring! We've missed You!|
|Picturing America: Free Workshops Continue on National & Local History|
|RAILS TO THE CATSKILLS - Update|
|The 4 Seasons in Kortright|
|This Saturday: Tour a 5th-generation dairy farm|
|MOTHER’S DAY & WEEKEND SPECIALS|