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NCPR News Staff: Matt Richmond

Reporter, The Innovation Trail

Stories filed by Matt Richmond

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A tanker trucks transports water for hydrofracking operations in Susquehanna County, Pa. Photo: Marie Cusick
A tanker trucks transports water for hydrofracking operations in Susquehanna County, Pa. Photo: Marie Cusick

NY water regulations raise concerns about fracking

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation appears to be nearing the end of its four-year hydrofracking review. If the DEC gives an OK to the controversial drilling technique, final regulations are expected in early 2013.

The DEC recently released regulations that would cover water use by the natural gas industry. And advocates of strict protections for freshwater aren't impressed.  Go to full article
Cornell researcher Brian Richards stands in a switch grass field that's part of NEWBio project. Photo: Matt Richmond
Cornell researcher Brian Richards stands in a switch grass field that's part of NEWBio project. Photo: Matt Richmond

Maximizing "marginal" land for biofuel

Solar and wind power get a lot of the attention as promising alternative power sources. But energy extracted from plants, known as biofuels, is also the subject of ongoing research.

Researchers at Cornell University are testing the growing potential of less-than-ideal open space.  Go to full article

Syracuse company looks to get in on Greek Yogurt boom

The yogurt industry in Upstate New York is getting attention as a bright spot in the region's lackluster economy. Byrne Dairy, based in Syracuse, is looking to get in on the trend.  Go to full article

Insurance companies raise questions about fracking

Nationwide Insurance announced earlier this year that damage from hydraulic fracturing won't be covered under its homeowner policies.

That announcement has brought to light some new questions about how fracking will be regulated in New York.  Go to full article
Pat Dundon in the office, surrounded by workarounds for the energy efficiency modeling software TREAT. Photo: Matt Richmond
Pat Dundon in the office, surrounded by workarounds for the energy efficiency modeling software TREAT. Photo: Matt Richmond

New York Green Jobs off to a slow start

A recent study by the consulting firm McKinsey and Company concluded that the U.S. could, by the end of this decade, eliminate about $1.2 trillion in wasted energy every year.

But as the Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports, New York's attempts to get started on that goal, and support green jobs in the process, have shown that it won't be easy.  Go to full article
Weeks after its founding, the Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) released a study that hydrofracking opponents called flawed and biased toward the natural gas industry. Above, a hydrofracked well and drilling pad in Pennsylvania. Photo: Matt Richmond
Weeks after its founding, the Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) released a study that hydrofracking opponents called flawed and biased toward the natural gas industry. Above, a hydrofracked well and drilling pad in Pennsylvania. Photo: Matt Richmond

Controversy simmers over SUNY shale institute

The founders of the new Shale Resources and Society Institute at SUNY Buffalo say its purpose is to act as an information hub on hydrofracking. But only a month after opening its doors, the new institute released a controversial study fracking opponents called flawed and biased in favor of the natural gas industry.

The study was written before the official launch of SRSI and was released under its banner without significant new changes from anyone working at SUNY Buffalo. While the report's authors admit a handful of small errors, they stand behind it and SUNY Buffalo administrators insist the institute was fulfilling its pledge to act as an information hub on fracking.

But the episode raises questions about how objective fracking research can be, even in academia.  Go to full article
Attorneys Helen and David Slottje are a driving force behind New York's local drilling bans. Photo: Matt Richmond, Innovation Trail
Attorneys Helen and David Slottje are a driving force behind New York's local drilling bans. Photo: Matt Richmond, Innovation Trail

Two attorneys assist New York towns to ban fracking

Environmental groups from the Syracuse area and the Catskills planned a news conference today with towns that are trying to stop fracking in their communities. About 100 towns in New York State have passed laws that ban the controversial gas drilling technique. Most of the frack bans are temporary, and about 20 are permanent. Some are under legal challenge, and county courts have upheld two of the local bans.

However, landowners and supporters of hydro-fracking say there will be lawsuits against towns over whether they can stop residents from selling mineral rights without compensation. The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports on the two Ithaca lawyers whose work laid the groundwork for those drilling bans, and on the opposition that's now growing.  Go to full article
Photo: Innovation Trail
Photo: Innovation Trail

New report questions NY's handling of drilling waste

A new report from Environmental Advocates of New York is questioning the state's regulation of wastewater from oil and gas wells. As the Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports the study is based on about 100 drilling applications filed with the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Go to full article
Photo: Innovation Trail
Photo: Innovation Trail

Dryden court decision could open door for local fracking bans

A judge in Cortland County has upheld the Tomkins county town of Dryden's ban on gas drilling within its borders. As the Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports, this is just the first step in what could be a long process.  Go to full article

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