Health concerns prompt landmark fracking ban in New York State

fracking ban

After months of battling against fracking in the state, New York announced a ban on this controversial process. Creative Commons: CREDO: Cuomo Policy Summit, 2012

Citing concerns over contamination of water and air, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a state-wide ban on fracking.

The decision comes amid continued calls from activists to halt the controversial practice, which involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals underground to unlock oil and natural gas reserves.

Fracking has been linked to health problems and contributes to climate change by releasing the potent greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere.

The decision by the Cuomo administration follows a five-year de facto ban of the practice and makes New York the second state, after Vermont, to prohibit fracking.

New York’s decision on fracking could set a precedent for more bans to follow.

The public health concerns that led New York to issue a ban on fracking are present everywhere and the state’s decision could prompt other states and municipalities to put health and concern for the climate above the narrow interests of the oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, new research highlighting the health, environmental and earthquake risks of fracking is clearer than ever.

A new analysis of scientific studies released by NRDC found that people living and working near fracking sites suffer disproportionate rates of respiratory problems, birth defects, blood disorders, cancer, and nervous system impacts.

Meanwhile other research has shown 2,500 earthquakes in Oklahoma could be linked to local fracking operations.

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