West Side Spirit: City Pols Protest Upstate Drilling

Thomas K. Duane

October 07, 2009

By Dan Rivoli

October 7, 2009

When the state laid out rules for natural gas drilling upstate on Sept. 30, elected officials miles away in New York City said, “kill the drill.”

That is because drilling, believed to contaminate water, can be done near watersheds where city residents get their drinking water.

Borough President Scott Stringer, along with various city officials, called for the state to ban drilling near the city’s water source.

“Today, we start a campaign with one clear goal: to make certain that before this state’s draft plan become law, it includes a ban on drilling for natural gas in the city’s upstate watershed,” Stringer said in a statement.

The coalition of elected officials and environmental advocates also criticized the proposed buffer zones around watersheds as inadequate to protect water from contamination.

“The proposed mitigation measures do not go far enough,” said State Sen. Tom Duane, in a statement. “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that the measures do not include a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing in and around New York City’s watershed and, indeed, in all water supplies statewide.”

The Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a public information sessions later in the year.