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New York and Fracking

Frack Target: Marcellus Shale

Water Resources at Stake: Hudson River, Finger Lakes, Skaneateles Lake and New York City watersheds

Like Pennsylvania, New York sits atop the Marcellus Shale deposit. But unlike Pennsylvania—which has served as a poster child for gas development gone wrong—New York has taken a more cautious route than its next-door neighbor. After widespread public pressure from people worried that fracking could contaminate drinking water sources for millions of residents both upstate and in New York City, horizontal drilling for shale gas has effectively been halted until the State finishes a comprehensive environmental impact review.

Unfracktured Communities – Fighting Fracking: In 2011, the Dryden, NY Town Board voted to clarify that oil and gas development—including fracking—would not be permitted within town borders under the town’s zoning ordinance. The town was one of the first communities in New York State to do so. Six weeks later, Dryden was sued by a billionaire-owned oil and gas company. The town fought and won three rounds in court, going all the way up to the state's highest court. Its ban will remain in effect.

In recent years, more than 170 communities in New York State have joined Dryden in passing bans or moratoriums on fracking.

Fraccidents: Below is a map of some of the high profile incidents ("fraccidents") related to the country's gas drilling boom that have already occurred in New York. Click on any fraccident to learn more.

View Fraccidents Map in a larger map

Frack Targets & Resources

Related Features

Dryden: The Town That Changed The Fracking Game

When the oil and gas industry came to the small town of Dryden, NY (population: 14,500) with plans to start fracking, things didn’t turn out quite how they expected. Find out how a group of neighbors turned the tables on a powerful industry—and changed the fracking game forever. View the photo essay.

Helen Slottje: Fighting Fracking, And Winning

In this Down to Earth episode, Helen Holden Slottje, a lawyer in upstate New York, discusses her pioneering legal strategy to keep the controversial oil and gas development process known as "fracking" out of communities.