New York Assembly Moves to Ban Fracking Another Year

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is one of the sponsors of a bill to ban fracking in New York at least until May of  next year.

The bill, also sponsored by Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney and 44 others, would impose a moratorium on issuing hydrofracking permits in New York until May 15, 2014. The bill argues that the delay is needed to give the state and its residents more time to “continue the review and analysis of any potential effects on water and air quality, environmental safety and public health."

Katherine Nadeau, with Environmental Advocates says it’s a step in the right direction.

“We need a hard time out on the fracking decision-making process, so that we can get the science and the information back that we need," Nadeau said.

Nadeau said the votes are likely there for the bill to pass in the Senate. But Senate Republicans, who jointly control the chamber with five breakaway Democrats, would have to agree to a fracking moratorium first, before the bill could be put on the floor for a vote.  

Governor Cuomo’s administration is still reviewing fracking, but the state’s environmental commissioner said permits could be issued as soon as 10 days after the governor’s health commissioner completes an ongoing health review.