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Fracking foes move to local approach
|As state environmental regulators wrap up their review of shale gas drilling in New York, opponents of a drilling method called hydraulic fracturing are taking a local approach, enacting zoning and planning laws that ban the practice.|
This home-rule tactic will be a key focus of environmental groups in the new legislative session that begins Wednesday with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's state-of-the-state address in Albany.
Legislation is planned that would give local governments veto power over natural gas drilling through zoning authority. Sen. James Seward, an Oneonta Republican who is co-sponsoring the proposal, also called on Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens to address the need for home-rule authority within regulations that Martens' agency is proposing.
At issue is hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, which critics say could poison water supplies, while the natural gas industry says it's been used safely for decades.
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