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Cuomo Administration Makes Its Move On Fracking

Submitted by Dan Hendrick on Thu, 2011-06-30 22:26.

After many months of study and contentious debate, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation will release its review of hydrofracking on Friday morning, July 1st.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens will release the  fracking study on Friday at 11  a.m.DEC Commissioner Joe Martens will release the fracking study on Friday at 11 a.m.According to a brief summary produced by DEC, the Cuomo administration will recommend that hydrofracking be allowed in New York. However, the practice would be prohibited in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds and on state-owned land including forest areas and parks. 

The goal, according to the summary, is to "protect the state’s environmentally sensitive areas while realizing the economic development and energy benefits of the state’s natural gas resources."  Some 85 percent of the state's Marcellus Shale area would be open to drilling if the recommendations are adopted. 

DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said the report "strikes the right balance between protecting our environment, watersheds, and drinking water and promoting economic development.”

NYLCV President Marcia Bystryn said that while more details will be learned once the full 900 page study is released Friday, some facts are already clear. "The Department of Environmental Conservation's review is a marked improvement over the previous proposal, which would have allowed hydrofracking in New York City's watershed and risked contaminating the drinking water system that supplies nine million people. DEC has also dropped plans to allow hydrofracking on state-owned lands like parks," she said.

But as with all studies of this complexity - the devil is in the details. NYLCV will be watching closely to make sure that if hydrofracking is allowed in New York, our state has the most rigorous regulatory protocols and enforcement in place to make sure our drinking water and environment are protected.

Commissioner Martens will release the full report at 11 a.m. Friday.

For some preliminary coverage, check out the Times Union and the New York Times.


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