New York regulators this week released their legal justification for banning hydraulic fracture drilling. The anticipation is that a ban on fracking will eventually result in lawsuits challenging the prohibition.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation for New York released its 43-page document explaining the prohibition. The DEC justified the ban by summarizing a seven-year review of the drilling technique, and results in other states.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens was quoted by Colin Sullivan, E&E reporter, as defending the ban as the "only reasonable alternative" in an attached statement, arguing that fracking "poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated."
The ban it is claimed will enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state. The review document findings uses public health concerns and the environment as main emphasis for concern especially possible unknown future negative health impacts.
Possible negative impact on aquifers was also mentioned in the 43-page document.
Landowners and energy industry interests have been threatening to sue ever since the fracking ban was announced in December. It is anticipated that the state document will provide a target for those pro-fracking groups to shoot at as professing wrong information. An early review by one lawyer, according to reporter Sullivan, said the analysis document has "significant legal and factual errors."