A Letter to the New York Times
In response to the June 13th story, “Cuomo Proposal Would Restrict Gas Drilling to a Struggling Area,” I’m writing to clarify Environmental Advocates of New York’s position regarding industrial gas drilling by means of fracking.
Environmental Advocates has consistently said New York State is unprepared to provide safe oversight of high volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Nothing has been presented to change our minds about that, certainly not the recent story about restricting drilling to a portion of the state. We firmly believe New York is not ready to move forward with fracking— statewide or in a limited number of counties.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has not made fracking waste subject to the same standards of treatment and disposal as other hazardous waste or prohibited the use of toxic chemicals in fracking fluid. The state has not undertaken a comprehensive health impacts assessment or conducted a cumulative impacts analysis.
Environmental Advocates has not seen the Governor’s proposal to permit fracking in certain counties. But limiting the geographic and geological scope of gas development does not fix the underlying problems. Like the rest of New York, we await the release of a plan for public review.
Our organization continues to call on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to take every possible step to ensure the health and safety of all New Yorkers and New York’s waters.
Environmental Advocates of New York