Thursday, May 26, 2011



New York, and Pennsylvania and A Sampling of Eastern State Municipalities and Key Organizations Opposed to Hydrofrack Drilling

New York State:

Ø  Two legislative bills on hydrofrack drilling are being considered by New York State.  The Assembly bill calls for a 5 year moratorium while the Senate bill calls for an outright ban. 

Ø  NYS Executive Order calling for a drilling moratorium by former Governor Paterson has been affirmed by Governor Cuomo.

Ø  Yates County resolution unanimously passed calls for similar protection treatment of their watershed as that in NYC and Syracuse watersheds.

Ø  The Town of Jerusalem (Yates) at the February public hearing enacted a moratorium ordinance for their entire township.

Ø  The Town of Milo is drawing up a moratorium statement for board action.

Ø  Dewitt, Tully, Marcellus and Skaneateles have enacted moratoria laws.

Ø  Highland, (Sullivan Co) is developing a moratorium statement.

Ø  Buffalo has banned hydrofrack drilling and wastewater disposal in their city.

Ø  Sullivan County is the first county in New York State to enact a moratorium.

Ø  Lumberland (Sullivan Co) is considering a moratorium statement.

Ø  Town of Ulysses is establishing “industrial zones” attempting to restrict the negative impact of drilling in their water supply.

Ø  Tompkins County has enacted a ban on fracking on county land.

Ø  Broome County:  Ban on hydrofracking on county lands.  Waste restrictions for fracking cuttings and flow back water established.

Ø  Ontario County and Onondaga Counties have enacted bans on fracking on county owned land.

Ø  Ulster County has banned hydrofrack drilling on county owned lands.

Ø  Gorham in Ontario County enacted a moratorium ordinance.

Ø  The towns that ring Cooperstown's reservoir, Otsego Lake -- Middlefield, Otsego, Butternuts, Cherry Valley and Springfield -- are moving to ban or restrict natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
Ø  The Medical Society of the State of New York has gone on record supporting a moratorium on gas drilling using high volume hydraulic fracturing.

Ø  Cooperstown’s Chamber of Commerce has issued a position statement supporting a total ban on fracking due to the impact it will make on their watershed, farming and tourism.

Ø  A group of residents have launched a petition drive designed to ban the use of high-volume, slick water hydraulic fracturing in the Town of Caroline, Tompkins County. 

Ø  New York City has called on the US Congress to remove hydrofrack drilling’s exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act.

Ø  The Skaneateles Town Board has initiated plans for a ban in their township.

Ø  The Otsego County Planning Board approved changes to Middlefield's master plan and zoning law that would specifically prohibit heavy industry, including gas and oil drilling.

Ø  The Board of Trustees of Bassett Medical Center, based in Cooperstown, New York, views the issue of hydrofracking as a public health issue of the highest priority and resolves that the hydrofracking method of gas drilling constitutes an unacceptable threat to the health of patients, and should be prohibited until such time as it is proven to be safe.
Ø  A consortium of interested citizens is planning for a unified moratorium and eventual ban of hydrofrack drilling in the entire Keuka Lake watershed region. 

Ø  Lebanon town board members adopted a memorializing resolution that calls on the New York State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo to repeal and reform compulsory integration laws in the State of New York that currently govern natural gas development.

Ø  A petition drive has resulted in the Dryden Town Board unanimously passing a resolution to move forward with an ordinance to ban fracking. 

Ø  The Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, Inc. has sued the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in New York State Supreme Court to declare High Volume Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State Forests contrary to the New York State Constitution and applicable environmental laws.

Ø  The Wales Town Board, Erie County, enacted a six-month moratorium on the horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  Wales is the only town in Erie County that relies solely on wells for its water.  Plans are commencing for a permanent law banning this type of drilling.

Ø  The Otsego Town Board clarified a long-standing prohibition against heavy industry, including fracking for natural gas, in the town's land use law. By this vote the town, which includes most of the Village of Cooperstown, reaffirmed its home rule right to prohibit drilling through local ordinance.  They also approved revisions to its land-use law that strengthen a ban on gas drilling and hydrofracking within the town.  The law now specifies that while the removal of gravel, rock, stone, sand, fill, topsoil or "unconsolidated" minerals has been allowed, extraction of natural gas and petroleum is not permitted.


Ø  Pittsburgh bans hydraulic fracturing in their city.

Ø  Luzerne County Lehman Township, ordinance calling for “home rule” and a ban on drilling within their surrounding township area.

Ø  Cresson has enacted legislation banning fracking.

Ø  Washington Township has banned fracking.

Ø  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council unanimously passed the pro-moratorium Resolution on Marcellus Shale Drilling Environmental and Economic Impacts.

Ø  The Borough Council of West Homestead, Pennsylvania, unanimously adopted an ordinance that enacts a Local Bill of Rights, along with a prohibition on natural gas extraction to protect those rights.  The bill, titled “West Homestead Borough’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance;  establishes specific rights of West Homestead residents, including the Right to Water, the Rights of Natural Communities, the Right to a Sustainable Energy Future, and the Right to Community Self-Government. 

Ø  Philadelphia refuses to purchase Marcellus Shale gas as the dumping of flow back waters is polluting their water supply. 

Ø  Collier Township upgraded its natural gas drilling ordinance to enhance their Marcellus Shale ordinance that would push drillers farther away from schools and provide baseline measurements for noise levels at drilling sites.


Ø  A class-action lawsuit has been filed against companies that drill for natural gas in central Arkansas. The suit is asking for millions of dollars in relation to the earthquakes associated with the fracking process the companies use. The damages enumerated in the suit are property damage, loss of fair market value in real estate, emotional distress, and damages related to the purchase of earthquake insurance.


Ø  The first community in Maryland, Mountain Lake Park, adopted an ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling. 

Ø  Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler has sent a letter to Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its affiliates, notifying the companies of the State of Maryland's intent to sue for violating the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). 

New Jersey:

Ø  The New Jersey Senate Environment Committee unanimously passed a bill to ban hydrofrack drilling in the state.  The legislators now need to reconcile the

Assembly's Environment Committee's moratorium bill with the Senate's Ban Bill.  It will be going to the floor in the coming months.


Ø  Wellsburg City Council approved an ordinance prohibiting natural gas drilling in or within one mile of the city as concerns mounted about the city's water being contaminated by procedures in hydrofrack drilling.  A reservoir serving the city is beside property that Chesapeake Energy is leasing for drilling.


Ø  George Washington National Forest has disallowed horizontal drilling for natural gas within its 1.1 million acres of territory while opening up segments of the forest to the potential for wind energy construction.

West Virginia:

Ø  Wellsville has banned fracking.

Quebec, Canada

Ø  The Quebec government is putting the brakes on shale-gas drilling and exploration in the province, following the release of a special committee report saying such work should be delayed until the government can do a strategic environmental evaluation.  “There will be no compromises on health and the environment,” the minister said.   Premier Jean Charest has said the development of a shale-gas industry must be done “correctly” or it will not be done at all.


Ø  The French Parliament has voted to ban hydraulic fracturing or fracking.  The bill will be voted on by the Senate on June 1 before France could become the first country to ban the controversial practice that involves using 'slick' water a combination of water, chemicals and mud, to fracture the rock with hairline cracks and prop open underground fissures.

Compiled by Joe Hoff, Chairman of KCAH  

As of May 26, 2011

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