On March 6, 2013, the New York State Assembly voted to place a temporary moratorium on all permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing gas wells until May 2015. The bill was sponsored by Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation Chairman Kevin K. Sweeney, and would extend a de facto moratorium that has existed in New York for over four years.

The bill also calls for the State University of New York to conduct an independent health review of the effects of hydraulic fracturing.
The bill will be brought before the New York Senate and, if approved there, will be sent to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for final approval.

On March 5, 2013, Democratic members of the New York Senate introduced a bill that would require the state to wait to rule on whether hydraulic fracturing should be banned until after the U.S. EPA releases its final study on the effects of the process on drinking water, and the New York Health Commissioner reviews the results of a similar study conducted by the Geisinger Health System, a health care company in Pennsylvania.

This article was prepared by Lauren Brogdon (lbrogdon@fulbright.com or 713 651 5375) from Fulbright’s Litigation Practice Group.