On December 17, a group of New York State legislators announced that the practice of hydraulic fracturing — known to most as simply fracking — is now banned throughout the Empire State.
According to the New York Times, New York State legislators decided to impose the ban on fracking, which has long been a controversial method of extracting natural gas deposits from shale, due to the “inestimable” risks to public health it poses.
The debate on whether or not to allow frac work in New York State has long been a source of strife between environmentalists and more business-minded advocates of fracking who espoused its economic benefits, especially for the economically-challenged areas of the state where natural gas deposits are found.
For years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has failed to take a decisive stance for or against the practice of fracking, the New York Times reports. His delayed decision stems from his insistence on waiting for the results of a state health study following fracking’s effects, as Cuomo has stated that this is the most “emotionally-charged” issue facing his administration.
Other reasons behind the state ban include a limited amount of available land on which to frack and the possibility of local governments banning the practice anyway, according to USA Today.
The ban will have a significant impact on fracking companies hoping to take advantage of the large natural gas deposits in the gigantic Marcellus Shale, a large portion of which is located in the Southern Tier. The Marcellus Shale, which stretches across Pennsylvania and into West Virginia, is the largest source of natural gas in the U.S.
But there’s no denying the potential risk that frac work poses to public health. Fracking involves breaking apart layers of shale with pressurized spurts of water mixed with dangerous chemicals — and these chemicals can enter the groundwater and into the public drinking water supply as a result.
Because of this, it will most likely take further research on making fracking safer to make New York State officials decide to overturn their ban on the practice.
What are your thoughts on New York State banning hydrofracking? Have any other questions on frac trailers, frac work, roll off containers or anything about oil and gas drilling? Let us know — just leave a comment below. For more information, read this website.