Albany takes a look at fracking

There are currently more than a dozen pieces of legislation proposed in both houses of the state Legislature that seek to establish new regulations on drilling as the gas industry prepares to ramp up production in upstate New York’s shale formations.

How many of the bills actually reach the Legislature floor or are ultimately passed remains to be seen.

Two pieces of legislation, however, are drawing quite a bit of attention. Both would put a moratorium on shale drilling.

One is a twin bill in the Assembly and Senate that would ban drilling using the controversial process of high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” until the federal Environmental Protection Agency completes a comprehensive study, launched in March, of fracking’s impact on water supplies and public health.

The EPA study was expected to take two years. The EPA has scheduled a public hearing on Aug. 12 in Binghamton to gather input.

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