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Daniel Raichel, Project Attorney, New York

Daniel Raichel
As a newly-minted project attorney with the New York Program, I work with NRDC’s Community Fracking Defense Project, which helps local residents and town boards effectively exercise their democratic voice to protect their communities from the harms of industrial fracking activities. I got my start working on fracking issues as a clinic student at Columbia Law School helping Pennsylvania municipalities write protective zoning ordinances against fracking, and am delighted to be able to continue to work directly with local communities in the Marcellus Region. On a personal note, I am a big fan of cooking and city-biking and, as a Chicago-native, was also a beer vendor at Wrigley Field for eight seasons—the last of which I worked while studying for the bar.

Recent Posts

Coast to Coast, Legislation Protecting Communities Gains Momentum

Posted March 21, 2014 by Daniel Raichel in Health and the Environment

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Every day, communities across the country are taking action to protect themselves against the harms of industrial fracking.  These efforts are illustrated by events like the string of successful bans and moratoria that passed as ballot measures in Colorado’s last...continued

Erie County Joins Growing Number of New York Counties Banning Fracking Waste

Posted January 10, 2014 by Daniel Raichel in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Erie County now joins the growing list of New York counties taking action to protect local residents from the health harms and potential property damage posed by the use of toxic fracking waste. Yesterday, County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed into...continued

HUGE Victory!: PA Supreme Court Says State Can't Force Fracking on Local Communities

Posted December 20, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Curbing Pollution

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I normally hate to write anything in all caps, but there is just no way to describe the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 4-2 decision yesterday declaring the zoning provisions of Act 13 unconstitutional as anything other than A HUGE VICTORY FOR ALL PENNSYLVANIA COMMUNITIES!! Why...continued

Don't Mess With Dallas: City Passes One of the Strictest Gas Drilling Ordinances in Texas

Posted December 17, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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With a 9-6 vote last week to pass a local law requiring  a minimum of 1,500 feet between gas wells and homes, the Dallas City Council has made clear who controls the fracking fate of Texas’ third largest city:  the...continued

CO Congressman Polis to Oil & Gas Industry: Please Stop Suing Our Towns

Posted December 11, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Last week, in a letter to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association (a trade association composed of Colorado companies working in or with the oil and gas industry, also known as “COGA”), U.S. Congressman Jared Polis had a simple message:...continued

Home Rule Heads to the High Court: NY's Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Dryden and Middlefield Cases

Posted September 6, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Last week, New York’s highest court (the New York Court of Appeals) agreed to hear the industry appeals of two decisions issued by the New York Appellate Division this past spring in the Dryden and Middlefield cases, in which it...continued

Fracking Your Backyard: All Local Residents Deserve the Same Protection When It Comes to Their Property Rights.

Posted July 29, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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While media attention on fracking often centers on the risks it poses to people and the environment—such as the potential health harms from well-site air pollutants or the potential for frack wells to contaminate fresh drinking water—today, I’d like to...continued

New Study Confirms, Yet Again, Higher Rates of Methane Contamination in Water of Homes Near Frack Well Sites

Posted June 25, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Health and the Environment

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A new study released this month by Duke University has found that water supplies located near frack wells (within 1 km) contain, on average, six times the level of methane than homes further away.  The study summarizes water testing results...continued

University of Michigan Study: 58% of Pennsylvanians and 52% of Michiganders Support Fracking Moratorium in Their State

Posted May 21, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Health and the Environment

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Last Tuesday, the University of Michigan released a report highlighting growing local concerns about the risks of fracking in two states with two very different fracking-histories— Michigan, where there has been relatively little fracking, and Pennsylvania, where fracking growth has...continued

Home Rule Victory in New York! - First NY Appellate Court to Rule that Towns Have Right to Zone Out Fracking.

Posted May 2, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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For those keeping score, today’s ruling  by the state Appellate Division in the Dryden and Middlefield cases marks the fifth and sixth victories in an undefeated winning streak for the right of New York towns to use their zoning authority...continued

NY Home Rule Update: Victory in Avon as Appellate Court Hears Argument in Dryden and Middlefield Cases

Posted March 22, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Curbing Pollution

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Last week, the Supreme Court of Livingston County* became the fourth New York court to hold that New York state law does not prevent local towns from using zoning to exclude industrial fracking activities from within town borders.  The case...continued

Fracking Language in Callicoon Comprehensive Plan Rejected by Sullivan County Planning Board

Posted February 13, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Last week, the Sullivan County Planning Board rejected proposed changes to the Town of Callicoon’s comprehensive plan that would have added language related to fracking and gas drilling.  The reason?  The Board found that the Town had ignored the voices...continued

News Report Reveals Pennsylvania DEP Fails to Use Own Stringent Test for Fracking Contamination

Posted January 31, 2013 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Last week, a news report by the Timesonline revealed that the Pennsylvania Department of Environment (DEP) has been avoiding using its most stringent water testing method for determining if local drinking water has been polluted by fracking.  The report serves...continued

Supporting Home Rule Over Fracking in NY: NRDC Files Brief on Behalf of Environmental and Non-Profit Orgs

Posted December 11, 2012 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Yesterday, NRDC filed an amicus, or “friend of the court,” brief in the appeals of the Dryden and Middlefield decisions rendered earlier this year.  The brief—filed on behalf of Catskill Mountainkeeper; Delaware Riverkeeper Network; Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County; Otsego...continued

Federal Judge: Gas Companies Can't Force New York Landowners to Extend Lease Agreements Against Their Will

Posted November 19, 2012 by Daniel Raichel in Environmental Justice, Health and the Environment

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Last week, federal Judge David Hurd ruled, in two separate decisions, that sixty-five New York landowners will not be forced to extend the terms of their lease agreements with gas drilling companies against their will.  The decisions are the first...continued

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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