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The Fight Continues Against Hydrofracking in New York

For several years, there has been an effort underway to allow drilling for natural gas in upstate New York through a process known as hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as “hydrofracking”.

Hydrofracking uses a mixture of nearly 600 chemicals, many of them kept secret from the public, and millions of gallons of water, which are blasted underground in order to destabilize rock and shale to extract natural gas.

I have opposed hydrofracking from the very beginning because it is not yet proven that it can be done safely and without poisoning our water or causing other environmental damage. Hydrofracking poses a real danger to our state and - last year - I sponsored a bill in the Assembly to ban it entirely.

Over mine and other advocates' opposition, Governor Cuomo has directed the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to draft regulations to permit hydrofracking to move forward in New York State. Recently, he announced that the DEC would be extending its public comment period on the draft regulations for hydrofracking to allow for a review of potential adverse health affects from drilling. I have been advocating for a broader health impact study of hydrofracking for over a year, and I am very pleased to see this extra step in place before New York jumps into hydrofracking without fully understanding its ramifications.

I encourage all New Yorkers to take the time to make your voices heard by commenting on the DEC's website here.

The new end date for the comment period is now January 11, 2013.