“Today, the New York State Department of Environmental Conversation (DEC) announced a separate environmental review process that will effectively prevent high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the New York City and Skaneateles Lake watersheds.
While ostensibly this is a step in the right direction to protect the drinking water of many New Yorkers from this risky gas drilling technology, I fear it is a cynical move that will pit New Yorkers against each other. We must not let DEC punt on prohibiting such drilling for natural gas in and around water supplies throughout the entire state.
Residents in Manhattan and Syracuse, for example, will benefit from this decision while those living in Ithaca and Jamestown will not. This is unacceptable.
It is a testament to the hard work of environmental and community advocates that we were able to reach this point, but we cannot allow this announcement to lull us into complacency.
New York City activists must maintain their vigilant support for statewide protections and I call upon the New York City Department of Environmental Protection to continue to fight alongside us.
Let us not doubt for a second that if DEC permits hydraulic fracturing in and around the rest of New York’s water supplies then the New York City and Skaneateles Lake watersheds will once again be at risk. Once the large and well-financed energy companies get a foothold in New York State, it is only a matter of time before they convince DEC that drilling in the unfiltered water supplies is safe as well.”
Release Date: April 23, 2010