Holding the Line on Fracking in NYS

Thomas K. Duane

October 23, 2012

As you may know, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens recently requested that the New York State Department of Health conduct a Health Impact Assessment of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  While neither agency has released substantive details about the assessment to the public, I am grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo for authorizing this additional review and I am hopeful that it will be more comprehensive than the study of health impacts included in the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.  In addition, according to news reports, New York will restart its regulatory rule-making process for fracking, including holding an additional public hearing.  If this is true, it would mark another victory in the fight against fracking, as our State has not developed adequate mitigations to the adverse impacts of this dangerous method of natural gas development.  Indeed, fracking is the most significant encroachment of industry on our natural environment and greatest threat to our public health in decades.  Knowing what we know now about the catastrophes caused by fracking in other states, we have an obligation to prohibit it throughout New York State and I will continue to fight toward that end.