The deadline has passed, and almost no legal challenges have been filed against New York’s fracking ban.
The Albany County Clerk’s office said Monday that in the last two weeks, no challenges came in against the Department of Environmental Conservation. The deadline to take state-level legal action against the ban was last week.
One lawyer in Rochester already filed his challenge back in May. David Morabito wants to frack his property out in Allegany County, in western New York. He says the fracking ban was a political decision, not a scientific one. “We’ve been doing fracking in New York State for decades and decades,” he said. “And I think, from an environmental perspective, from a conservation perspective, high-volume hydrofracking is much more efficient and viable that what we call conventional gas exploration.”
The ban applies to high volume hydrofracking: wells that use 300,000 gallons of water or more to extract natural gas. Morabito says if he doesn’t win in state court, he’ll take it to federal court. But he intends to see the process out in New York.
“I’m hoping to have the opportunity to have an actual trial in front of a [state] Supreme Court judge so that the judge can see the evidence, listen to the evidence, make a determination based on witnesses and not a number of reports generated by the state of New York.
According to the Gannett papers, the state chapter of the American Petroleum Institute says it won’t fight the ban using Article 78 – the law that lets people challenge state agencies. But they are considering other legal options.