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The Fracking Roundup

Yesterday was a big day for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) news – with the NY Times exposing a fracking mortgage threat, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calling out the industry, and a federal rule announcement on fracking wastewater. Here is a roundup of Riverkeeper’s top three news items from October 20:

  • A report in the NY Times by Ian Urbina revealed that the rush to drill has created serious conflicts between mortgage rules and gas drilling leases. Homeowners who have signed leases may find themselves in technical default of their mortgages, making it difficult for them to sell or refinance their home. On the heels of this report, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) sent letters to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requesting an examination of the mortgage rules governing gas drilling and how they will affect the more than one million gas leases signed between gas drilling companies and property owners in NY.
  • Riverkeeper’s Chief Prosecuting Attorney, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., called out the fracking industry for its bad acts in a Huffington Post blog. RFK, Jr. writes that the gas companies have made the “opposite” of environmental protection their status quo.
  • In a positive development, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it would set a national standard for disposal of toxic fracking wastewater. Wastewater remains a significant issue in NY, as even DEC admits the state currently does not have any wastewater treatment plants equipped to treat fracking wastes.
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