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  • Blog Title: Marcellus Shale

    New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Fracking Bans

    The New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, held that the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”) does not preempt municipal zoning authority.  The Court explained that land use regulation is among the most fundamental powers granted to municipalities and thus can be preempted only where there is a […]

    NY High Court Hears Fracking Preemption Cases

    Earlier this month the New York State Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Matter of Norse Energy USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein v. Town of Middlefield, in which the Court has been asked to decide whether the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”)[1] preempts local zoning regulations […]

    The Moratorium Continues…

    The environmental review of proposed regulations that, if adopted, would permit high-volume hydraulic fracturing gas drilling (“fracking”) in New York State, has been slow.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) issued a Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“Draft SGEIS”) evaluating the potential adverse environmental effects of fracking in September 2009.  That Draft […]

    Judge Dismisses Attorney General’s “Fracking” Suit Over the Delaware River Basin

    U.S. District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis recently dismissed a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman against the Delaware River Basin Commission (“DRBC”), EPA, and other federal agencies seeking to compel the production of a full environmental study on the impact hydraulic fracking could have on the Delaware River Basin. Judge Garaufis […]

    Limited Gas Drilling in New York?

    The New York Times recently reported that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration is quietly contemplating allowing hydraulic fracturing to occur on a limited basis in towns that welcome drilling and in areas where the Marcellus Shale formation is deepest. [1]    While the deliberations are still continuing and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens has declined to give […]

    Waterless Fracking?

    While the New York hydraulic fracturing moratorium is still in place as the DEC is working on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, it is believed that the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) may sidestep the New York ban. The controversial and traditional method of extracting natural gas from deep shale formations utilizes a […]

    Bans Upheld In Lower Court

    Within a week of each other, two lower courts in New York upheld municipal bans on hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield.  These two cases are being closely watched for their precedent setting effect. Anschutz Exploration Corporation, a Denver based natural gas company, filed a lawsuit in order to […]

    Fracking Blamed as Cause of Ohio’s Recent String of Earthquakes

    An earthquake with a 4.0 magnitude shook eastern Ohio, outside of Youngstown, on Saturday afternoon, December 31, 2011.  The latest earthquake was the 11th earthquake in Ohiosince March 2011.[1]  This earthquake, like the others, have been centered around an injection well that has been used for the disposal of millions of gallons of brine and […]

    NY DEC Final Hearing Held on November 30th, 2011

    The New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) public hearings held throughout New YorkState, with its final hearing held in Manhattanon November 30th, drew thousands of people.  In response to the turnout at the public hearings and the already high volume of comments to the latest draft of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), […]

    Gas Leases and Mortgages

    Our last entry dealt with emerging legal battles in the Marcellus Shale region.  This week, we turn our attention to natural gas drilling and mortgages.  As natural gas has become more important and vital to the future of energy, homeowners have signed more than a million leases that give energy companies the right to drill […]