Two more New York localities joined more than 50 other New York cities, towns and counties seeking to limit fracking before the New York Department of Environmental Conservation completes its final regulations. Significantly, Albany’s Common Council sent legislation to Mayor Jerry Jennings, who has 10 days to veto the ban. Mayor Jennings has not indicated whether he will veto the ban. Those city council members who voted against the ban noted that New York state law preempts local ordinances and, as a consequence, the city council was inviting a lawsuit. Meanwhile, the Board of Directors of the Canandaigua Lake Watershed similarly passed a resolution opposing fracking in the Canandaigua Lake watershed in Ontario and Yates counties. The board was concerned about the impact of fracking on drinking water.
The latest fracking bans reflect the on-going battle between localities in the Marcellus Shale region and the energy companies that have existing leases to drill. Lawsuits challenging the local bans are spreading through New York and Pennsylvania.