Below please find the letter I sent to Commissioner Martens regarding hydrofracking. The Department of Environmental Conservation posted the preliminary report regarding hydrofracking today. There will be a public comment period soon and I encourage all New Yorkers to review the report and make your concerns known. Please go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html to review the report.
July 10, 2011
Dear Commissioner Martens,
I appreciate the Department of Environmental Conservation’s hard work in thoroughly looking at the safety of hydraulic fracturing in New York State. However, I do not agree with the state’s consideration at this time to potentially lift the moratorium on high volume horizontal drilling.
As sponsor of legislation (S5592) that would have extended the moratorium on hydrofracking, I have serious concerns. Although I am pleased that the New York City and Syracuse watersheds will be exempt as they are unfiltered water sources, it does however raise a troubling paradox. If the threat of potential pollution is too great to subject the New York City and Syracuse watersheds to, why would it then be acceptable to subject water sources in the rest of the state to the same potential contamination?
I am also concerned about the financial burden the state will undertake to regulate this industry and whether or not there are sufficient state resources to do so. The DEC specifically has lost a quarter of its staff since 1990. The open expansion of drilling could further strain an already strained agency.
I look forward to reviewing the final recommendations of the DEC and hope these recommendations keep all of New York’s citizens’ safety in mind.