The state of New York said it would ban the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing on Wednesday because of “red flags” about its risks to public health.
The ban puts one of the last great areas of untapped potential in the Marcellus Shale off-limits to the oil and gas industry.
The decision was reached after a two-year study into the effects of fracking on the state’s air and water, and announced at a cabinet meeting in Albany.
“The takeaway that I get from the data is that there are serious questions about public health,” the governor, Andrew Cuomo, said.
New York state has had a moratorium on fracking for the past five years – and more than 120 towns across the state have outlawed the practice.