fracking background

Helicopter Charter & Aerial Survey Service / IOGA of NY

*But you were afraid to ask?

When the Innovation Trail reporting project launched in 2010, we made it a priority to cover the hydrofracking debate in New York.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

Transporting the millions of gallons of water, as well as equipment, sand, and other materials needed to hydraulically fracture a natural gas well requires quite a few truck trips, to put it mildly.

One well site could require up to 3,399 one-way truck trips [PDF], according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's 2011 draft environmental impact statement (dSGEIS) on hydrofracking.

All those trips by heavy trucks can quickly beat up and wear out roads if they're not built to handle it.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

New York State is poised to issue its final plans for regulating hydrofracking. But even with a decision imminent, there’s no guarantee this controversy will die down.

Instead, the fight will likely head to the courts.

New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has spent four years studying fracking, and the agency’s final guidelines are expected soon— potentially paving the way to allow drilling.

And when that document is made public, environmental lawyers promise to be ready.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Shortly after opening its doors at this spring, the Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) ignited a controversy that persists several months later.

The newly-founded SUNY Buffalo institute issued a study which found a decline in accidents and environmental damage caused by hydrofracking – a drilling technique using high volumes of water, sand and chemicals to extract natural gas from shale far below the Earth’s surface.

Opponents call the study flawed and biased in favor of the oil and gas industry.

The dispute attracted national attention, especially in the higher education community