May 19, 2014 Articles

Is New York's Fracking Review Subject to Judicial Oversight?

This case could decide whether New York's environmental review of fracking can be accelerated by judicial order.

By Matthew D. Wagoner and Cindy Monaco – May 19, 2014

High-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the state of New York has been on hold as the state reviews the use of fracking under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. The review has lasted almost six years, causing plaintiffs in two cases to seek a judicial order requiring the state to complete its review. These cases have the potential for ushering in a new era of shale development in New York. But the state has moved to dismiss the cases, raising a variety of challenges, challenging everything from the plaintiffs’ standing to the court’s ability to issue a mandamus order. If the court grants the state’s motions to dismiss, the state’s review of fracking would be insulated from judicial review, allowing New York to indefinitely delay the use of fracking within its borders.

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