New York State was one of the first states to ban fracking back in 2014. Fracking is a controversial technique for harvesting oil and gas from shale and other deposits. Fracking requires literally fracturing the earth to make these substances are easier to gather. To do so, large machines are used to generate thousands of tons of pressure.
Fracking has been linked to a variety of negative side effects, for the land and for the people living on it. In Oklahoma and other states, as well as in regions of Canada, fracking has been associated with increased seismic activity. Some areas in Oklahoma report dozens of earthquakes per year, damaging buildings and putting lives at risk.
Fracking also runs the risk of releasing methane and other dangerous gases into the air. People who live near fracking sites often suffer lung disease and other health problems that could be caused by exposure to dangerous and toxic contaminants released by this procedure. And, even when fracking does not cause earthquakes and methane releases, it does create dangerous waste. This waste has to be disposed of, and experts are still unsure as to how dangerous exposure to this waste is.
Though New York has banned fracking, not all neighboring states have followed New York’s lead. Pennsylvania still allows fracking, and citizens of New York living close enough to the border with Pennsylvania might still be subject to the negative fallout.
Companies that take part in fracking owe it to the people who live nearby to make sure the process is as safe as it can possibly be. This is true regardless of whether those people live in the same state as the fracking is taking place. It will likely be years before scientists determine the safe range for fracking exposure, and until they do people are best advised to assume they are at risk.
If you or someone you love has become ill due to exposure to contaminants from fracking, knowing your options is important but difficult. Contact an experienced attorney who can help you determine how to proceed in proving your case.