It’s been an anxiously awaited date for New York State environmentalists and natural gas companies alike.
Friday, July 1 will mark the end of former governor David Paterson’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
Fracking, as it’s known colloquially, is the process of injecting water mixed with chemicals and sand into shale to release the natural gas within.
In New York, it’s been a highly controversial topic, since the state houses a large portion of the Marcellus Shale, one of the richest natural gas deposits in the world.
A huge economic victory for governments and gas companies.
Or is it a deadly threat to the environment?
Many environmentalists believe that the process of fracking allows contamination of groundwater and drinking water supplies.
The New York Assembly recently voted to extend the moratorium for another year until proper environmental research could be done, but the Senate failed to pass this legislation.
And so the deadline remains July 1.
A recent New York Times article revealed that Governor Andrew Cuomo was looking to lift the moratorium when it expires.
The report stated that the ban would remain in place for areas that are prominent in producing drinking water, but it would be lifted elsewhere.
Spokesman Joshua Vlasto issued a statement that the report was “baseless speculation and premature”. No more was said on the subject.
With the deadline for the moratorium comes the deadline for a report required from the Department of Environmental Conservation on the effects of fracking.
Nothing has been released about what this report may contain, though it is believed that educated advice for Cuomo will be included.
The Environmental Protection Agency is undergoing its own study on how fracking impacts groundwater.
Environmentalists are adamant that the ban should remain fixed until a very thorough study of the environmental effects of fracking is completed.
Other states such as Maryland have also put a hold on fracking, though the process is legal and in full swing in Pennsylvania.
That’s all for now,