New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration will ban hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) in New York State due to concerns over health risks, according to a Dec 17 article in the New York Times.

The article reports that NY state officials concluded fracking could contaminate the air and water and pose inestimable dangers to public health.

Fracking is a method of natural gas extraction that includes drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.[1]

Cuomo’s administration made the decision after evidence determined “significant public health risks” associated with fracking, according to acting state health commissioner Dr Howard A. Zucker, who presented the information at a year-end cabinet meeting in Albany covered by the Times

The article reported that Dr. Zucker said his review boiled down to a simple question: Would he want to live in a community that allowed fracking? He said the answer was no.

The question of whether to allow fracking has been one of the most divisive public policy debates in New York in years, pitting environmentalists against others who saw it as a critical way to bring jobs to economically stagnant portions of upstate.

New York has had a de facto ban on the procedure for more than five years, predating Mr. Cuomo’s election. Over the course of his first term, the governor at times sent conflicting signals about how he would proceed.

Source: New York Times