The impact of “fracking” on residential property owners and community life

Dec. 7 program at Pace Law School to explore drilling leases, property valuation and community preparedness

White Plains, NY, November 28, 2011—In the ongoing debate over hydraulic fracturing in New York State and elsewhere, opponents of this controversial method of natural gas drilling often cite concerns over environmental damage and hazards to human health. Yet property owners being courted by drilling companies for access to the shale gas deposits under their homes and farms face a different conundrum. Leasing their land to the drilling companies can mean cash payments in the short term, but it also opens the owners up to potential liability, and raises serious questions about continued viability of their mortgages.

These issues and others facing residential property owners in the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale region are the subject of a program at Pace Law School on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 1-4 p.m. Elisabeth N. Radow, Esq., special counsel to Cuddy & Feder, LLP and chair of the Hydraulic Fracturing Committee for the League of Women Voters for New York State, will moderate panel discussions on topics including:

  • A history of drilling in New York State and a review of the critical lease terms
  • The balance of rights and obligations between the residential property owner and the gas drilling lessee
  • The impact of drilling on the residential property owner’s ability to construct on, mortgage and sell his property
  • How drilling activity on property positively and negatively impacts the value of the estate
  • How hydrofracking can transform community life

Ms. Radow is the author of the cover story of the November/December issue of the New York State Bar Association Journal, titled, “Homeowners and Gas Drilling Leases: Boon or Bust,” which explores many of these issues.

Photographer J. Henry Fair begins the program with a presentation of his aerial images of drill sites.

Also speaking in the program are Joseph Heath, Esq., General Counsel, Onondaga Nations, Syracuse; David Wilkes, Esq., Partner, Huff Wilkes, LLP; and Carol Chock, County Legislator, Tompkins County, NY. There will be a question-and-answer session for the audience.

The program will be held in the Moot Courtroom in the Law Library at Pace Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains, NY.

Reporters are welcome to attend with advance notice to Lauren Rubenstein at (914) 422-4389 or

To register for the program, please contact Linda Maccarrone at (914) 422-4062 or Attendees will receive 3 Practice CLE credits. Registration is $125 for attorneys; $25 for government/non-profit; and free of charge for students or recent graduates (since 2010).

Media Contact:

Lauren Rubenstein
Manager, Media Relations
(914) 422-4389
cell (914) 329-8680




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