NY misses fracking deadline, landowners to file lawsuit

By Adam Chick

February 28, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 1:48 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The deadline for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reach a decision on whether hydraulic fracturing will be permitted in New York has once again come and gone.

The JLCNY will move forward and sue New York State because they say their rights as landowners have been taken away.

"We have been denied all economic benefit to our property," said JLCNY attorney Scott Kurkoski.

The Landowners Coalition is seeking four plaintiffs for their case against New York. The next step will be to determine the value of the property owners' land should they be tapped for natural gas.

"If there's a taking of our mineral rights because the state is not acting in good faith, then they have to provide compensation under the United States Constitution," Kurkoski said.

JLCNY President Dan Fitzsimmons thinks New York is missing out on a golden opportunity by waiting.

"The futures of our children, our communities and everything with the great thing that we have here with natural gas is going to be taken away," Fitzsimmons said.

It appears the New York Department of Health isn't concerned over Cuomo's deadline set late last year.

Department of Health commissioner Nirav Shah makes this clear in a letter to DEC commissioner Joseph Martens.

"The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered before a state permits drilling. Other states began serious health reviews only after proceeding with widespread HVHF (high volume hydrofracking)," Shah said.

Martens then released a statement saying this: "I will not issue a final SGEIS until that review is complete and I have received Dr. Shah's recommendations."

Fitzsimmons blames the delay on activists and "Hollywood elites." He says the state has enough information to move forward, and the time to move forward with natural gas drilling is now.

"We've waited long enough. We've given New York State definitely ample time to get this done," Fitzsimmons said.

Martens also realizes that emotions run high in this debate. He said ultimately the science, not the emotion, will determine the outcome.

At this point there is no timetable for New York to reach a decision on whether it will issue permits for hydraulic fracturing.