Search Site
Recent Hydraulic Fracturing Developments in New Jersey and New York

On June 25, 2012, the New Jersey Senate passed bill A-575 by a vote of 30-5 that would prevent hydraulic fracturing waste from entering New Jersey.  While New Jersey does not have the large pockets of natural gas found in neighboring Pennsylvania, no rules or laws have been enacted in New Jersey regarding the acceptance of by-products from the natural gas drilling process commonly referred to as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.”  The bill was previously approved by the Assembly and is now awaiting Governor Christie’s review.

The main fear of proponents of the legislation is that significant waste from large scale fracking operations in Pennsylvania and beyond would end up in landfills, treatments plants, and other facilities in New Jersey, further encumbering the State, which is already overburdened with thousands of polluted sites, with additional environmental issues.  The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has said that very little fracking waste currently comes into New Jersey and that regulations are in place that would ensure the safe handling of any such waste.  Currently, Pennsylvania fracking operations send some drill cuttings and waste water to nearby states, including New York.  Opponents of the bill appear to have a two-fold argument: (1) the ban would only rob companies that treat industrial waste of business opportunities; and (2) the ban would likely not have a major effect since most drilling companies prefer to recycle waste on-site.

It is unclear whether the legislation will be signed into law.  At a town hall event in Mahwah, New Jersey on June 27, Governor Christie indicated that he has yet to review the bill.  The Governor indicated that he would confer with environmental and business groups before deciding whether or not to sign the proposed legislation.

In New York, natural gas drilling has been the subject of an ongoing moratorium.  However, the current administration, headed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is in a political quagmire and appears to be considering a plan to allow fracking in portions of several economically struggling New York counties that border Pennsylvania.

The crux of this dispute is between two diverse groups in Upstate New York.  On one hand, property owners above the Marcellus Shale formation in New York reside in somewhat economically depressed regions that want to be able to reap the economic benefits of fracking similar to their Pennsylvania neighbors.  On the other hand, environmental groups are fighting to maintain the environmental health of their communities, which they claim will be significantly adversely impacted by fracking.

Currently, more than 100 New York towns, villages, and hamlets have passed bans on fracking in anticipation of the statewide moratorium being lifted in the near future.  In at least two instances, the Supreme Court of New York in Tompkins and Otsego Counties have upheld zoning amendments that effectively banned hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling activities in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield, respectively (Anschutz Exploration Corp. v. Town of Dryden, 2011-0902, New York Civil Supreme Court, Tompkins County; Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield, 2011-0930, New York Civil Supreme Court, Otsego County).  It appears that both decisions have been appealed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Attorneys

Recent Twitter Posts

  • The Murphy Administration plans to spend $200 million on wind port.
    3 hours ago
  • NJDEP aims to simplify permitting process.
    1 day ago
  • U.S. Supreme Court will hear PennEast Pipeline appeal of New Jersey eminent domain dispute.
    4 weeks ago
  • Fishing to be allowed in future wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.
    1 month ago

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Appellate decision emphasizes the consequences of failing to perform due diligence

In December 2020, the NJ Appellate Division published a decision emphasizing the importance for purchasers of property use their “due diligence” period to learn as much as possible about the
Read More
Recent Appellate decision emphasizes the consequences of failing to perform due diligence

New Jersey has ambitious goals for emission reductions

New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act (“GWRA”) calls for New Jersey to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from their 2006 levels by 2050. In January 2020, Governor Murphy
Read More
New Jersey has ambitious goals for emission reductions

San Diego Receives Federal Funding to Fight Mexican Sewage

San Diego has just received substantial federal funding from the EPA to address a chronic problem: raw sewage coming from Tijuana Mexico. That sewage has been migrating over the border
Read More
San Diego Receives Federal Funding to Fight Mexican Sewage

New Jersey Supreme Court rules for NJ Transit in insurance claim for damages due to Superstorm Sandy

A New Jersey Supreme Court opinion issued on January 27, 2021 affirmed an Appellate Division decision in favor of NJ Transit over its insurers. In 2012, when Superstorm Sandy hit
Read More
New Jersey Supreme Court rules for NJ Transit in insurance claim for damages due to Superstorm Sandy

In the media

  • Gulf Coast Town Center facing foreclosure

    Naples Daily News, September 16, 2015

    Wells Fargo filed a lawsuit Sept. 8 against an affiliate of CBL & Associates, the owners of the decadeold, 1.2 million-square-foot mall in south Fort Myers for a $190.9 million unpaid loan. The center has 94 stores on 204 acres, with such anchors as Super Target, Belk, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Marshalls and Costco...

    Read More
  • Town liable for private company's leaking underground tanks, court rules Jul 26, 2017

    CRANFORD -- A couple that owned a businesses in town and became sick from leaking underground tanks owned by an adjacent business can sue the township for damages because the tanks were partially ...

    Read More
  • Dark Waters: How a Class Action Catapulted NJ to Forefront of 'Forever Chemicals' Battle

    NJ Law Journal Jan 09, 2020

    As property owners become increasingly aware of PFAS contamination, and as individuals exposed to PFAS learn of the health risks associated with exposure, liability will likely affect entire supply chains.

    Read More
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
Contact Our Firm

Quick Contact Form