Second Look at New NY Law: Climate Change & Drilling Permits

second lookLast week MDN reported on the recent New York “Community Risk and Resiliency Act” signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. We raised the issue that it may be a surreptitious way of controlling shale drilling when/if it’s allowed (see NY Law Back Door Way to Stop Widespread Shale Drilling?). The new law requires the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to take into account climate change and sea levels rising when making certain decisions and evaluating certain permits. We referenced one law firm’s take that “Applications and/or permits [for oil and gas drilling] received after the adoption of the Department’s guidance must comply with the law.” Our speculation was that maybe the law could be used to slow down or stop shale drilling. We’ve received a strong dissenting opinion on that view from another attorney, and from landowners in the Southern Tier area of New York, who have reviewed the law and find that, at best, the new law is dealing with storage tanks and not actual drilling permits…

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