An article appearing in today's New York Times states that the Cuomo administration is expected to lift the state's moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation. NYDEC is supposed to be releasing a study on hydrofracking tomorrow, and presumably that will foreshadow what New York plans to do going forward.
In the event that New York does lift its ban, you can be assured that the boom taking place in Northcentral Pennsylvania will spill over into Southcentral New York. Right now, there are a lot of very envious landowners just across the New York border wondering why the landowners in Bradford and Tioga Counties can get paid six and seven figure lease and royalty payments but they can't.
In the event New York lifts its moratorium, it will be very interesting to see how they handle the issues relating to the treatment of frac water. PADEP is trying to put an end to the use of POTWs to treat frac water with direct discharges to PA streams. Will New York look to impose similar restrictions? If you drill in the Marcellus, you are going to generate frac water. Does New York have any infrastructure at all in place to treat frac water? If it doesn't, you can expect some of the early frac water that would be generated would come to dedicated frac water treatment facilities in PA. The same goes for the drill cuttings. Where would those go in NY? Maybe there are good lessons to be learned by NYDEC in taking a look at how the Marcellus industry and PADEP's regulation of it have evolved.
Personally, I look forward to the day when New York lifts its Moratorium. Once it does, NY should align itself with PA on matters before the DRBC and EPA, and it should open up new economic opportunities for the companies now working the the Marcellus field in PA.