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News stories tagged with "mining"

Hearings begin - back and forth of fracking continues

New York begins public hearings on proposed regulations for hydro-fracking today. The state Department of Environmental Conservation convenes the first of the hearings in the Finger Lakes village of Dansville this afternoon at 1:00 pm. People hoping for three minutes to comment are expected to begin lining up hours before that.

The state has put off permits for drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation since 2008, when it began a review of the high-volume hydraulic fracturing process used to blast wells into production.

Environmental groups who fear the drilling will contaminate water supplies call the rules too lax.
The gas industry says the rules will be so restrictive that companies will avoid New York. As the DEC begins its hearings, an industry group has been holding public meetings of its own.  Go to full article
Dannemora prison construction in 1898.
Dannemora prison construction in 1898.

Adirondack Attic: an industry inside a prison

In the 19th century, iron mining was the main operation at the Dannemora Correctional Facility, with three main mines scattered within the structure's walls. The mines provided employment for the convicts and earned the region the nickname, "Little Siberia." Inmates also helped with prison construction and renovations. Coming up on the next Adirondack Attic, Andy Flynn and Adirondack Museum chief curator Laura Rice examine a photo taken during prison construction in the late 1800's.  Go to full article
We said no we donít want anything to do with it. And he turned around and said, "It doesnít matter, Iíll get it anyway"

Landmen, part 2: Gray area in state law can undercut landowner

Yesterday we heard a cautionary story about "landmen" - the people who handle drilling leases and mineral rights for natural gas companies. Today, a state law some say is being used to force property-owners to sign on the dotted line.

Most people agree it's wrong to just take someone's property and give it to someone else. But there's a gray area in the rules for natural gas drilling. It's called compulsory integration.
Emma Jacobs has this report for the Innovation Trail.  Go to full article

Hydro-fracking opponents bring big guns to lobby for a NY moratorium

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is preparing this week for a third round of hearings, this time in Canonsburg, PA, on the controversial natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."

A wealth of natural gas is locked into the Marcellus Shale deep under Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio. Some geologists estimate it's enough to supply the entire East Coast for 50 years. But there are fears fracking could pollute water above and below ground and deplete aquifers. The oil and gas industry says it's been safe for many years and is needed to keep the nation on a path to energy independence. The process is currently exempt from federal regulation.

Now concerned New Yorkers want the state to step in. New York's Senate chambers have been dark since lawmakers left town for a summer break early this month. But the grand hall was briefly lit up yesterday as hydrofracking opponents came to lobby for an 11-month moratorium.

No Senators were actually on hand for the event, even though the lobbyists brought out the big guns. Karen DeWitt has more.  Go to full article

Preview: songs of the lumberjacks

Folksinger and storyteller Lee Knight will lead a program of music and stories from Adirondack logging camps and mining towns in North Creek on Sunday. Knight grew up in Saranac Lake, and has devoted his career to preserving traditional music in the Adirondacks and the Appalachians. He joined Todd Moe in the studio this morning to share old-time music and tales.  Go to full article

Hydrofracking spurs natural gas boom

A new drilling method called hydrofracking has opened up previously inaccessible natural gas fields all over the country - including what's known as the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and New York's southern tier.

It's fueling a boom in natural gas production. But the water-dependent technique is generating controversy. Environmentalists are urging the states to adopt stricter regulation of natural gas drilling. That's partly because right now, hydrofracking is exempt from almost all federal regulations.

But as Samara Freemark reports, legislation currently moving through Congress would change that:  Go to full article

Land swap would give mining company access to Forest Preserve lands

A mining company based in Essex County wants Adirondack environmental groups to back a proposed land swap that would allow the company to acquire state Forest Preserve lands. NYCO Minerals wants to mine 250 acres in a designated wilderness area in the town of Lewis. But the plan would require an amendment to the "Forever Wild" clause of the state Constitution. As Chris Knight reports, environmentalists are raising questions about the proposal - a stance that has angered some state lawmakers.  Go to full article

New York considers new rules for natural gas drilling

Lawyers, local officials and landowners met Monday in the Southern Tier to mull over the future of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. Development appears inevitable. But how that development unfolds is still being shaped. The controversial new drilling technique called hydrofracking would inject millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground to break up rock and release the natural gas.

Hydrofracking is part of the problem. But it is not the only concern in New York. Rachel Ward reports from Owego.  Go to full article

Fatality at St. Lawrence Zinc mine

Authorities are still trying to sort out what happened in a fatal accident at the St Lawrence Zinc mine near Governeur Saturday morning. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Family sues talc mine, 75 others over cancer deaths

A family of talc miners in Jefferson County filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court yesterday. It claims three family members died of a rare cancer after exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc. Mines in St. Lawrence and Jefferson County have provided talc for industrial applications for decades. As David Sommerstein reports, scientists have long documented the link between respiratory illness and those talc mines.

CORRECTION: Jerrold Abraham is a pathologist at Upstate Medical University.  Go to full article

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