by Long Island Attorney Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
Hydraulic Fracturing, also known as fracking, is a controversial mechanical process in which natural gas or other substances are extracted from the Earth by use of wellbore drilling into reservoir rock formations. Proponents of fracking tout the benefits of obtaining resources from otherwise inaccessible locations within the Earth. Opponents maintain that the process creates a litany of environmental and health problems such as ground water contamination, toxic chemical surface spills and air quality contamination, among others.
NYS by attorney general Eric Schneiderman, sued the Delaware River Basin Commission, the EPA and other agencies to compel a full and complete environmental impact study, before continuing plans to develop fracturing of the Delaware River Basin. In particular were concerns with fish contamination, breathing problems due to adulterated air quality and drinking water contamination. Noteworthy is that the Delaware River Basin supplies drinking water to New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The defendants argued, in support of organizations representing companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp., that the lawsuit was unfounded and fear based. The U.S. District Court dismissed the case, essentially concluding that since the plans were in the early stages, claims as to the risks and dangers of the natural gas development were speculative.
Governor Cuomo, in an effort to speed up the approval of fracking in New York and ward off law suits delaying same, has decided to first complete a health impact study before going forward. However, Governor Cuomo has chosen his own administration's health department to perform an internal study, as opposed to having an outside, independent and objective agency peform the study.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.
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Paul A. Lauto, P.L.L.C.
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