Senator Duane Speaks Out Against Hydrofracking
As you may know, I have been fighting for a statewide prohibition on high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) since 2008. While I am truly proud of the work that environmental advocates, elected officials and concerned residents and business-owners from Upstate and Downstate have accomplished—passing the first statewide moratorium on fracking in the nation, raising awareness about the technique’s devastating impacts, and mobilizing immense opposition to its use in New York State—I am deeply concerned that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation continues to move forward with its ill-conceived plan to permit this dangerous drilling. New York must learn from the mistakes of states that already allow fracking and set an example for those that do not. On November 30, I joined actor Mark Ruffalo, environmental advocates and many other elected officials and community activists in a press conference held by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Frack Action outside the DEC hearing on fracking to demand that the agency withhold all permits for this dangerous drilling method. After the press conference, I delivered testimony to DEC highlighting a number of serious flaws in the agency’s proposed regulatory program on fracking and calling for the establishment of criminal penalties for both intentional unauthorized discharges of the slurry of toxic chemicals known as “frac fluids” and for acts of negligence.