Upstate NY Village Loses Case Over Fracking Water Sales


An upstate New York village has lost a court challenge of its water sales to a Shell Oil Co. subsidiary for shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.

Environmental groups and several individuals sued after the Steuben County village of Painted Post signed a contract in 2012 with Shell subsidiary SWEPI LP. The five-year contract called for up to a million gallons of water shipped daily by rail to drilling sites for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The Sierra Club and People for a Healthy Environment claimed village officials failed to do a state-mandated environmental impact review.

The state Supreme Court Appellate Division on Dec 31 upheld a lower court ruling voiding the water sale agreement.

Painted Post Deputy Mayor Richard Thorne told the Elmira Star-Gazette that officials haven’t decided whether to pursue a new contract.

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