The New York State Senate has approved at least a nine-month delay in issuing permits for a method of natural gas drilling, saying more study is needed to ensure it does not contaminate the state’s water supply.
The technique has helped fuel a drilling boom in the United States and allowed companies to tap vast supplies of natural gas locked in big formations like the Marcellus Shale, which spans parts of New York.
But in New York, environmental groups have seized on the BP Plc spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a series of recent accidents in states that already allow drilling to demand more regulation.
“Keeping New Yorkers safe means preserving the sanctity of their access to clean, drinkable water,” Senate Majority Conference Leader John L. Sampson said in a statement.
“We do not need to look any further than the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico to realize that there is no financial benefit worth risking the safety of New York’s water supply.”