Ahead of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's pending decision to lift a state-wide fracking moratorium, a number of local initiatives to ban the technology are currently under attack. The Huffington Post reports on the growing challenge to local fracking moratoriums and a municipality's right to protect their land and ground water.
Though more than 150 New York cities and towns have bans on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, within their borders, currently four municipalities in the state are waging courtroom battles in defense of their stance.
Challengers argue that the bans strip individuals of their land rights and "devalue the land." However, the process of injecting pressurized chemicals into the ground contaminates groundwater and local aquifers, affecting all nearby landowners by effectively destroying both the land and water indefinitely.
Without a moratorium, Huffington Post reports, "a gas company need only control 60 percent of an area before the state can give the go-ahead for drilling, so even those opposed will be affected as the injected chemicals contaminate local aquifers and ground water."
"They can basically ride right over the other people regardless of their wishes," said Dryden, NY resident and Cornell University professor Charles Geisler.
Supporters of the local initiatives, "hope to keep the bans intact around their borders" no matter what the Governor decides; his decision due by Feb. 27.