MDN Map of NY Counties Likely to See Initial Fracking [Free]

NY Likely Counties MapMDN is excited to release an important new resource—a free map—to help you understand the situation in New York State with fracking. A copy of the map is embedded below.

In a nutshell, everyone is waiting (holding our collective breath) for the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to issue a final final final final version of new drilling rules (called the SGEIS) they’ve been working on for more than four years. Previous versions of the SGEIS were introduced but didn’t make the grade. This time, it’s really the final word.

Where will the first permits be issued? That’s what our map will help you figure out. And we tell you why.

Without further delay, here it is (and with a huge thanks to Ed Camp of ShaleNavigator for creating this map):

New York Counties Likely to See Initial Fracking

For best results, click on the map for the full-sized version. We’ve also embedded a downloadable copy below. Feel free to swipe this map and use it. Print it out, share it around, Tweet about it, link to it on Facebook and LinkedIn, re-pin it on Pinterest…We want you to use this map!

Here’s what to notice on the map above:

  • The gray line on the right running through Sullivan and Ulster and Albany counties and on up through Oneida and Lewis counties near the top and across through part of Lake Ontario and beyond is the line marking the outer edge of the Utica Shale area.
  • The yellow line that runs inside of the Utica Shale line, cutting through Erie and Genesee counties in the west all the way through Schoharie and Albany counties in the east (and everything below it) denotes the Marcellus Shale area. The Marcellus Shale sits over top of the Utica in much of New York State (and Pennsylvania).
  • The blue outline running through Delaware, Schoharie, Greene, Ulster and Sullivan counties, sort of a weird oblong shape, shows where the Catskill/Delaware (i.e. NYC) watershed area is located. The current draft drilling rules put the watershed off limits for drilling.
  • The darker yellow counties are the counties mentioned in a New York Times story from a “leaked” source in the governor’s office as the prime locations for where drilling permits will initially be granted—provided the towns in those counties are in favor of drilling. Those counties are: Broome, Chenango, Tioga, Chemung and Steuben.
  • The red lines that seem to run everywhere are major natural gas pipelines. Having pipelines to move gas to market is a necessity, so pipelines nearby is a good indicator of where drilling will likely take place.
  • The heavy green line that runs along the eastern edge of Broome County and on down through PA (Wayne County and beyond), and on the right side runs from the Schoharie/Delaware border through Greene, Ulster, Sullivan and down, and also cuts through most of Delaware County (hidden underneath the blue line) is the demarcation for the Delaware River Basin. Everything within the green lines falls within the regulatory overview of the Delaware River Basin Commission. The DRBC has so far not allowed any horizontal hydraulic fracturing within its “zone”.
  • Finally, notice the pink spots in Pennsylvania. They indicate natural gas production from Marcellus Shale wells for the first six months of 2012. It doesn’t take a genius to see that just across the border from the yellow “likely fracking” counties in New York sits a lot of gas production in PA. Given that infrastructure like pipelines and processing plants, trucking operations and drilling rigs are already present “just a few miles across the border,” fracking permits in New York will almost certainly be issued somewhere within the five yellow counties. It just makes sense.

MDN publishes a three volume set called the Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook 2012. Volumes 1 and 2 are already out and available for download. Volume 2 contains a complete list of all New York townships (at the time of publication in late July) that have either voted in favor of, or against, fracking. Since communities that don’t want fracking won’t get it, this information is vital for landowners and businesses. The Databook series is designed to help you sort out what’s happening in New York and beyond.

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