The New York Times today detailed a plan under consideration by the Cuomo administration to allow gas companies to drill in portions of the Marcellus Shale with a depth of more than 2,000 feet.
Knowing that, exactly where would high-volume hydrofracking be allowed to take place should the state decide to allow it? The below maps should help clear that up.
The first map, provided by a source, was produced by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, a group that has been pushing towns and municipalities to pass resolutions in favor of natural-gas drilling. (Click the map to enlarge.)
It shows the boundaries of the Marcellus Shale, along with where the 2,000-feet-deep boundary line would run — an area that encompasses most of the Pennsylvania border. The blue stars show municipalities that have passed pro-hydrofracking resolutions, a potential requirement for permits under the plan, according to the NYT.
In addition, it shows the boundaries of the west portion of the New York City watershed, which the Department of Environmental Conservation has already declared off limits. What it doesn’t show, however, are the boundaries of the Catskill Park — where the NYT says the Cuomo administration would ban operations — and the Delaware River Basin, which is currently under a gas-drilling moratorium.
Knowing that, pretty much the entire portion of the Marcellus east of Broome County would be off limits to drillers, at least until the Delaware River Basin Commission finalizes its own rules for hydrofracking (no resolution on that is in sight.)
The second map (below the Joint Landowners Coalition map; zoom out to get a better sense) was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and was discovered in a trove of emails released under the Freedom of Information Law. It shows where various horizontal gas wells (marked by bull’s eyes) were proposed in 2008, before the DEC decided to launch an environmental review of high-volume hydrofracking and put the technique on hold in the interim.
As you can see, the proposed wells were generally in the thickest areas of the Marcellus anyway, though the easternmost wells would not be allowed under the plan floated by the Cuomo administration.
View FUTURE Marcellus Wells in NY in a larger map