Urges passage of moratorium legislation
Today the New York Times reported on a New York State plan to limit fracking to portions of New York counties, at least for the next several years, and to permit it only in communities that express support for the technology. Following is a statement from Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper’s Watershed Program Director:
“The leaked report today indicating that New York might allow high-volume fracking to go forward in a limited number of Southern Tier counties suggests that the Governor is willing to gamble with the health, environment, and safety of thousands of New Yorkers. Limiting the scope of fracking impacts does not make it safer. If the Governor intends, as the report states, to still let the decision on fracking hinge on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) environmental review, fracking should not be allowed anywhere in the state in the next year. There remain serious deficiencies in DEC’s review, such as DEC’s failure to analyze health impacts, develop a plan for wastewater disposal, and take a hard look at negative economic impacts, which need to be addressed. Nor should any fracking be allowed when DEC lacks the resources to monitor and enforce even flawed fracking regulations.
While Riverkeeper is encouraged by the state plan’s acknowledgment that fracking should not take place where local governments have banned it, it is completely unacceptable for the state to propose sacrificing areas that have not taken such action, especially on the basis of a flawed and incomplete environmental review. As a recent Cornell poll indicated, the more people upstate learn about fracking, the less interested they are in allowing it. But the Governor is asking communities to make a decision whether or not they want fracking before they have all the facts, which is patently unfair to those communities with limited governmental resources.
Today’s announcement highlights more than ever the need for the New York State legislature to act swiftly to pass moratorium legislation, which would allow the state time to make this decision based on science, rather than politics, and provide communities the information regarding likely environmental and health costs necessary to make an informed decision.
If the state adopts any alternative which allows fracking in the absence of an adequate environmental review, which is made available for public scrutiny and comment, Riverkeeper will stand in opposition to fracking moving forward in New York.”
Contact: Tina Posterli, 914-478-4501 x 239, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Date: 6/13/2012