The greatest threat to New York's environment in decades

Clear streams, lush forests and rolling farmland define much of New York. But the rush to drill for gas in the Marcellus Shale threatens our environment and communities.

Ravaged forests, contaminated water

Next door in Pennsylvania, we’ve seen drinking water contaminated, waste spilled into rivers and streams, forests trampled by drilling rigs and trucks, and air pollution levels spiking near drilling sites. Pennsylvanian gas drilling has generated 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater that is loaded with toxic chemicals, corrosive salts, and sometimes even radioactive particles. We cannot risk our beloved rivers, streams, forests and fields to fracking.

Watch the videos to learn more about what could be in store for New York if the state moves ahead with drilling.

Will state officials protect our environment and our health?

Incredibly, Gov. Cuomo is moving quickly to allow drilling in New York—without doing critical research on the environmental and health effects. In Pennsylvania, a similarly reckless approach to drilling has led to:

  • More than 3,500 violations by the gas industry since 2008; 
  • Drinking water advisories each year for more than 325,000 residents near Pittsburgh; and 
  • Explosions and accidents that have put local families and workers at risk. Environment New York is bringing people together from all walks of life to speak out against drilling. 

With your support, we can protect New York’s forests, rivers, and drinking water for future generations.

Together we can win 

Your activism and our advocacy are a powerful combination — in 2010, it convinced then-Gov. David Paterson to set the nation’s first temporary moratorium on drilling. We need you to get involved if we’re going to stop Gov. Cuomo’s plan once and for all. If enough of us speak out, we can ensure that New York will stay protected from drilling. Join our campaign by sending Gov. Cuomo a message today.


Drilling Updates

News Release | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

Governor Cuomo to Ban Fracking

In an historic move, Governor Cuomo today announced his final decision to ban fracking in New York.   The governor’s decision comes just days after several new reports on the health threats of dirty drilling – including Environment New York’s release last week of “In the Shadow of the Boom” showing how fracking would threaten the health of vulnerable populations.

 “Across the country, fracking has been a rolling environmental disaster – contaminating drinking water, making residents sick, and transforming forests into industrial zones,” said Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York. “After listening carefully to the latest science and the voices of millions of New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo has decided to permanently protect the water, health, and environment of the Empire State from the documented damage of dirty drilling. This is what true leadership looks like.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

Environment New York study: fracking poses risk to vulnerable populations

A study released today by the Environment New York Research & Policy Center demonstrates that if fracking were allowed in New York, drilling for gas could have detrimental effects on children and the infirm. The report, entitled The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom: Fracking’s Growing Proximity to Day Cares, Schools and Hospitals, shows New York has more than 5,300 day care facilities, more than 2,500 schools, and 450 hospitals that overlie gas-bearing shale formations in the state.

Although New York is currently under a de facto drilling moratorium, as of May 2013, oil and gas drilling companies had applied for permits to drill more than 270 wells that target the Marcellus or Utica shales. Most of these sites have not been permitted or drilled yet, but could be if New York lifts its moratorium on fracking.

 “We have seen how dangerous gas drilling can be in other states – from harmful air and water pollution to fires, blowouts and explosions,” said Heather Leibowitz, the director of Environment New York. “This report shows that if fracking is allowed into New York, our vulnerable populations could be exposed to unacceptable risks.”

> Keep Reading
Report | Environment New York Research and Policy Center

The Spreading Shadow of the Shale Gas Boom:

Using “fracking,” gas companies are drilling near our communities, polluting our air and water and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals at high pressures deep into the earth, breaking up underground rock formations to release natural gas. Blowouts and fires can occur at well sites, and drilling and extraction can contaminate our air and water, putting the health and well-being of nearby residents at risk.

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment New York

Shalefield Stories

[New York, NY] — As Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to weigh a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in New York, residents next door in Pennsylvania today recounted their stories of illness, water contamination, and damage to their livelihoods due to dirty drilling operations. Environment New York Research & Policy Center presented the residents’ Shalefield Stories as the latest evidence for rejecting fracking, even as the State Energy Planning Board called for expanding the use of natural gas just last month.

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