The Home Rule Bill, A3245, is scheduled to be on the agenda in an Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee meeting today.
The bill clarifies the municipal home rule law, in which towns, cities and villages are the determiners (through planning and zoning processes) of where various land uses, such as gas and oil exploration and other heavy industry, are allowed (or are not allowed) within their borders. Although this bill has been around since early last year, it recently has gained some traction, with Senator Seward, a Republican from the Marcellus Shale region, signing onto the Senate version, S3472. Now that the bill has a majority sponsor in each house, this will be one to watch, it may move.
A number of towns and cities have enacted, or are in the process of enacting, local laws that prohibit gas and oil mining (often along with other similar heavy extractive industries) within their territory. A map showing these is available at Food and Water Watch’s Frack Action Center.