The New York State Senate voted Wednesday to ban almost all gas and oil drilling until next spring, a move aimed at halting an environmentally controversial extraction process, ProPublica reports.

The bill would prohibit hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a method of natural gas extraction that involves blasting underground rock with a combination of water, sand and chemicals. In New York and elsewhere, environmentalists and communities have voiced concerns about potential  water and air pollution, and other damage, from the process.

The bill’s author, Sen. Antoine Thompson, said the measure is aimed at providing more time to assess the risks of high-volume hydraulic fracturing used in horizontally-drilled wells in the Marcellus Shale,  a rock formation found in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York. According to ProPublica, Thompson’s measure appears to be so broad, however, that it also would stop hydraulic fracturing in New York’s many vertical oil and gas wells, and would apply to drilling in geologic formations outside the Marcellus.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York called the law “unnecessary.”

“They really don’t understand what they are opposing and they don’t understand why they are opposing it,” association spokesman Jim Smith said.

A similar bill is being considered by the state Assembly. If passed by the Legislature and signed into law, the legislation would be the first of its kind in the country.

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