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Hinchey's Stance On Natural Gas Drilling
|Congressman Says More Safeguards Are Needed to Protect Public Health|
Kingston, NY -- Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) this week formally submitted comments to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in response to the agency's draft findings for how horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing to obtain natural gas in the Marcellus Shale would impact the environment and affect the quality of life for state residents. While noting the economic benefits that natural gas drilling could have on the state and its residents, Hinchey said that the DEC first needs to take a series of additional comprehensive steps to adequately ensure that hydraulic fracturing does not contaminate drinking water supplies or jeopardize public health in any other way.
"Natural gas development presents New York with a range of potential economic benefits, but those benefits come with some extraordinary environmental and public health risks that we cannot simply ignore and hope for the best," said Hinchey, regarding the comments he submitted on the DEC's draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS). "The DEC has taken a good step forward in setting some environmental guidelines, but a lot more work needs to be done. It is tempting to move forward with drilling now in order to realize the economic benefits, but doing so in haste would unnecessarily subject the state to potential environmental and public health disasters that would be far more costly in every way. Now is the time when we should be taking a closer look at what's happened in other states including Pennsylvania and Wyoming -- where waterways and drinking water supplies have been contaminated -- and take the steps needed to ensure such problems don't befall New York."
In his comments to the DEC, Hinchey laid out a series of 11 steps he believes the agency needs to take before drilling should be permitted in New York. Those steps are:
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posted by CITIZEN POWER ALLIANCE at 4:41 PM - permanent link
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