How Will Fracking Impact Westchester County and Local Municipalities?

Hydrofracking is the extraction of oil from rock deep within the earth’s crust.

The issues surrounding fracking stretch far beyond the actual drilling process and can affect many different aspects of New Yorkers’ lives. The following upcoming event will discuss many of the potential impacts that fracking will have on residents in both Westchester County and in the mid-Hudson Valley region.

The Impact of Fracking on Residential Property Owners and Community Life

Sponsored by:  Pace Law School
Location: Moot Courtroom in the Law Library at Pace Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY
When:  December 7, 2011 from 1-4pm

This program will explore drilling leases, property valuation and community preparedness.

In the ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing in New York State and elsewhere, opponents of this controversial method of natural gas drilling often cite concerns over environmental damage and hazards to human health. Yet property owners being courted by drilling companies for access to the shale gas deposits under their homes and farms face a different conundrum. Leasing their land to the drilling companies can mean cash payments in the short term, but it also opens the owners up to potential liability, and raises serious questions about continued viability of their mortgages.

Elisabeth N. Radow, Esq., special counsel to Cuddy & Feder, LLP and chair of the Hydraulic Fracturing Committee for the League of Women Voters for New York State, will moderate panel discussions on topics including:

– A history of drilling in New York State and a review of the critical lease terms
– The balance of rights and obligations between the residential property owner and the gas drilling lessee
– The impact of drilling on the residential property owner’s ability to construct on, mortgage and sell his property
– How drilling activity on property positively and negatively impacts the value of the estate
– How hydrofracking can transform community life
Photographer J. Henry Fair will begin the program with a presentation of his aerial images of drill sites.

Also speaking in the program are Joseph Heath, Esq., General Counsel, Onondaga Nations, Syracuse; David Wilkes, Esq., Partner Huff Wilkes, LLP; and Carol Chock, County Legislator, Tompkins County, NY. There will be a question and answer session for the audience.

To register for the program, please contact Linda Maccarrone at  (914) 422-4062 or Attendees will receive 3 Practice CLE credits. Registration is $125 for attorneys; $25 for government/non-profit; and free of charge for students or recent graduates (since 2010).


Additional news: Comment Period on Fracking Extended!

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decided to extend the comment period on both the draft environmental impact statement, and draft fracking regulations, the documents which would guide fracking in New York State.  The comment period is now open until January 11, 2012. The original deadline to comment  was December 12, 2011. There will now be an extra 30 days to speak up and share your concerns about fracking in New York State. There will also be an extra 30 days to contact our friends, neighbors, and colleagues about the pressing need to push back on the state’s fracking proposals.

You can submit your comments in 2 ways:

Mail your comments to:
Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-6510.

Include your name, address, and affiliation (if any).

Submit your comments online: If you prefer to comment online, visit

Once at the site, follow the directions to submit your comments.

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About the Author: Alain Begun