It’s official: New York State bans fracking, citing risks to land and health

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More good news! 

New York State has officially banned the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas, citing its potential impact on health and the environment. The state has long had a de facto ban on the practice, known as fracking, which has unlocked vast quantities of natural gas and natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale fields in neighbouring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

In a statement released Monday, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation spelled out a number of concerns associated with shale gas development – including the impact on ground water and surface water from leaks and spills, and air pollution from increased truck traffic. It concluded there are “unavoidable adverse environmental impacts” and “significant uncertainty” remaining regarding the level of risk to public health that would result from permitting high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York. And hence, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially prohibited the practice.

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