State Review Findings Back Up NY Fracking Ban; Details Wide Range of Environmental Dangers
May 15, 2015
by Mike Clifford
ALBANY, N.Y. – A new report backs up Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking and details a wide range of environmental dangers.
Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg said the Department of Environmental Conservation report spells out a long list of potential dangers from fracking operations which involve blasting millions of gallons of water mixed with hazardous chemicals into the ground.
“It does mention earthquakes, risks to water quality, air quality, risks to our communities,” she said. “There really isn’t any environmental parameter that is not severely affected by fracking.”
Industry officials maintain that the process is safe, and may file suit if the report is accepted.
This report is not the final word, Goldberg said, adding that the DEC commissioner still needs to issue findings and make a final determination.
Goldberg credited the Cuomo administration with taking the right course because it puts the burden on the industry to prove the process is safe before allowing any natural-gas fracturing in New York.
“I think we are completely on the leading edge,” she said. “Gov. Cuomo is the only governor in a state that has proven gas reserves to follow the science and recognize that we just don’t know enough to go forward safely.”
While the Marcellus Shale is estimated to have more than 140 trillion feet of natural gas in reserve, experts can’t say for sure how much gas is contained within the New York state boundaries. Given that uncertainty and the safety issues, Goldberg said, she is not certain the industry will see any real gain in challenging the report.
PHOTO: A new report bolsters New York towns such as Dryden that won the right to zone out fracking because of health and safety concerns. Photo credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch Earthjustice.
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