The Fight Continues Against Fracking in Upstate New York: Catskill Mountainkeeper ramps up effort at local government level
By Betta Broad
High-Volume hydraulic fracking is not currently taking place in upstate New York, but the threat that this process poses to our environment continues to grow in other ways.
Right now a de facto moratorium exists in New York to allow the state’s Department of Health and Department of Environmental Conservation to research the health and environmental impacts of proposed fracking. We continue to wait for their initial findings but the struggle to prevent gas and oil companies from bringing fracking, its infrastructure, and its waste to New York goes on.
As the oil and gas industry expands fracking in neighboring states, trucks carrying toxic frack waste from sites in Pennsylvania and Ohio travel our roads in New York. Meanwhile, the construction of pipelines to transport fracked gas to New York and the state’s ports has already begun.
Significant victories have already been won against fracking through home rule initiatives in local NYS communities with the passage of bans and ordinances that protect aquifers or regulate zoning, hazardous waste, and road use. Non-profit environmental organizations and lawyers such as Helen and David Slottje have helped to make these early victories possible by offering legal support to advocates on the ground. But much more remains to be done.
In order to help support this important work, in the fall of 2012, Catskill Mountainkeeper teamed up with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to create the Community Fracking Defense Project (CFDP). This joint initiative assists local governments and advocates seeking added control or protections from hydraulic fracturing in their communities. Through the CFDP, we have been providing pro bono legal assistance in the drafting of zoning regulations and land use plans as well as defending anti-fracking regulations already in place.
We are also helping the grassroots efforts of NYS residents and environmental groups in challenging industry-sponsored pro-fracking resolutions and/or other pro-fracking actions.
We want to help your community, too. Please join in our efforts to keep fracking out of NYS at the local level. Click here to learn more, read about recent news, and reach out for assistance to ban fracking in your municipality and to join the effort to stop fracking in New York State.
Also, if you’re interested in volunteering or hosting a forum on home rule in your community, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
It is an incredible honor to work with anti-fracking advocates around the state and we look forward to continuing to build this historic movement together.
Thank you for all of your support,