Fracking Updates in NY, IL, and MN

Probably not the best sand for fracking. Photo by Sharon Mooney, some rights reserved.

A quick update on fracking regulations at the state level around the country: The New York State Assembly passed a two-year moratorium on high volume hydraulic fracturing, which must now go before the Senate, then Governor Andrew Cuomo. The bill also would require the State University of New York to conduct a review of high volume fracking. The Assembly’s bill follows similar moratoria passed in 2010 and 2011 that went nowhere in the Senate; however, the political makeup of the Senate makes the bill’s passage more likely this year.

Governor Cuomo’s administration is awaiting its own health impact study of fracking before proceeding with the Department of Environmental Conservation’s fracking regulations. This regulatory review process has already resulted in what is essentially a five-year ban on fracking. DLA Piper, whose memo gives the details on the moratorium, sees the prospects for shale gas production in New York to be low.

In contrast, Illinois, after five months of negotiations between environmental groups and the energy industry, has worked out draft regulations on fracking. The Natural Resources Defense Council stepped in to ensure that drillers were liable for water pollution and that they disclosed the chemical makeup of fracking fluid, among other safeguards.

The makeup of the fracking fluid that is injected to extract shale gas has been a hot topic recently, but a few Minnesota towns are making news by rejecting Minnesota Proppant’s proposal to open a sand processing and rail-loading facility. The sand near St. Charles Township in southeastern Minnesota is just the right size and strength to wedge open cracks just enough for natural gas to escape. And after St. Charles Township rejected their proposal, next-door St. Charles did the same. Supposedly Wisconsin has been more pro-sand mining in the past, but there is some evidence that it might not be smooth sailing there, either, as the town of Bridge Creek rejected similar plans for a sand mine there.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Onaghini on April 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks for the update!

    Down with Fracking

    Frucking Mother Earth
    And Poisoning Our Water and Air

    No Time For Legislation
    When the Fracking Operation
    Come to Your Land

    You Either Resist
    Let Them Kill You, your Environment and Your family, like a Coward.

    Runaway like a coward if you have the money
    So you do not have to stand up and fight the fight destiny has brought you

    Illinois you cowards! Supposedly Environmental Groups
    reached an “Agreement” which allows them to Frack?!
    What an accomplishment…You should be commended, Not! You Sell Outs!
    A shame there were not people to show up, without intention to be bought off
    and bend for The Oil and Gas companies to plunder and poison Earth and your people. But there were no unbuyable people.
    Instead there was the lot of you and you failed Earth and your People.

    There can be no compromise to Fracking.
    It is like GMO. Bad Science, completely short-sighted and unsustainable.
    Murdering the environment and the people connected to that environment.


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