Quantcast

NRDC Launches Community Fracking Defense Project

Energy

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) today announced the creation of its Community Fracking Defense Project, which will provide legal and policy assistance to towns and local governments seeking added control or protections from hydraulic fracturing in their communities. Most natural gas extraction today involves hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, an extraction technique requiring a mix of toxic chemicals and linked to a range of air and water pollution issues across the country. 

“For too long, communities around the country have had little defense against the oil and gas companies that sweep into their neighborhoods and start fracking without regard for the impacts on the people who live there,” said Kate Sinding, a senior attorney in NRDC’s New York office. “If a city or town decides it doesn’t want fracking, or wants to restrict it, their voice should be heard and respected.”

The new NRDC project will launch in five states—New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina—and will focus on protecting communities’ abilities to protect themselves against the risks of fracking within their borders. The project’s activities will vary from state to state, reflecting the significant difference in fracking activities and regulatory protections. 

Some examples of project activities include:

  • Assisting in drafting local laws and land use plans that control the extent of fracking within their borders and/or limit the harmful effects of fracking.
  • Working to re-assert communities’ rights to protect themselves under state law.
  • Defending relevant zoning provisions and other local laws that are challenged in court.

The project’s activities grow out of NRDC’s existing work in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, which includes:

  • New York – Advising towns, including that of Meredith, on the creation of a fracking ban within its borders that is designed to withstand legal challenges. Assisting residents of several upstate towns in challenging industry-sponsored pro-fracking resolutions that have been improperly adopted. Representing environmental and conservation groups on an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief as industry appeals two court decisions that uphold the rights of the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield to ban fracking within their borders.
  • Pennsylvania – Representing a group of Pennsylvania municipalities in several counties—including the townships of Bethlehem, Murrysville, Monroeville, Tinnicum, Wilkins, East Finley and Bell Acres—in the filing yesterday of an amicus brief supporting a recent lower court decision that struck  down a law that had severely limited the rights of municipalities to determine whether and where fracking can occur within their boundaries. Pending the outcome of that litigation, assisting municipalities to enact and defend laws to protect against fracking impacts.
  • Ohio – Advocating for a significant upgrade of the state decision-making rules and practices to secure a genuine role for citizen participation in the process, including: access to information, ability to comment on rules and regulations, right of appeal on the issuance of permits, and the capacity of local government to advance land use and zoning protection relating to oil and gas extraction in their jurisdictions. 

Through the creation of the Community Fracking Defense Project, NRDC will be both expanding upon current work in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio and also reaching out to communities in Illinois and North Carolina in order to provide similar kinds of assistance to protect public health and environmental quality in advance of fracking drills breaking ground.

“As the rush to extract natural gas from our communities expands dramatically into the Midwest, it is essential to protect the ability of citizens to assure that those activities do not foul our water, air, community health and safety,” said Henry Henderson, NRDC’s midwest director. “NRDC has from its inception been committed to the rule of law, principles of sound science and role of citizens in defending their communities against environmental despoliation. Our Community Fracking Defense Project is committed to making that goal a reality and helping communities re-assert their rights when it comes to fracking.”

The new Community Fracking Defense Project is an outgrowth of advocacy that NRDC has been engaged in for decades. Since the early 1970’s, NRDC has worked at local, state and federal levels to protect communities, their natural resources and the health of their residents from threats associated with the gas and oil industries, including fracking. The project will also build on the ongoing work of local groups around the country. NRDC will be partnering with locally-based grassroots organizations in each state, including the Catskill Mountainkeeper and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy in New York State, among others.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less

The Dog Aging Project at the University of Washington is looking to recruit 10,000 dogs to study for the next 10 years to see if they can improve the life expectancy of man's best friend and their quality of life, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less