Decision Day for NY on Marcellus Shale Drilling Moratorium

The NY State Senate environmental committee meets today for the last time this session.  On the agenda is a bill to establish a one-year moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus Shale.

The state’s Sierra Club chapter sent out an action alert this morning encouraging recipients to contact their state Senators on the committee and push them to pass the moratorium.

From the Rochester City Newspaper blog:

Even if the bill passes, it’s unlikely to please environmentalists, who want legislators to advance and pass a bill, S7592A, which would forbid hydrofracking until the federal Environmental Protection Agency completes a safety study. The study is expected to take several years. But that bill has been left off of the agenda. (The moratorium is not tied to the EPA study.)

Many environmental groups say the state isn’t ready for large scale Marcellus Shale Drilling, and they are pushing hard for a moratorium.

In Pennsylvania, the drilling started without Marcellus Shale-specific regulations in place. The irony is that some Pennsylvania residents, activists, and politicians now want a moratorium and regulation to address the issues.

In short, they want to do exactly what New York has done. The state has a moratorium in place, and it will remain in place while the Department of Environmental Conservation finalizes a new environmental statement for the drilling. But once that’s done, the department will start issuing permits. It expects to finish the review this year and to begin issuing permits next year.

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