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Riverkeeper Responds to New York’s Filing Revised Fracking Regulations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, tposterli@riverkeeper.org

Calls for DEC to wait for the science and give the public more opportunity to be involved

White Plains, NY – November 29, 2012 — Yesterday, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposed a new set of fracking regulations by filing a notice and rule-making package with New York’s Secretary of State. This move wholly undercuts the governor’s promise to let the science guide his decisions and has left people with many questions and concerns about his administration’s focus on moving fracking forward in New York. The following is a statement by Kate Hudson, watershed program director at Riverkeeper:

“What needs to be made clear is what DEC did yesterday was to file a completely revised set of fracking regulations without the benefit of vital health and environmental impact information. These regulations will be open for public comment for only 30 days beginning on December 12. Neither the health nor environmental study will be completed before public comment on the revised regulations closes. This is not a request for an extension; this is the fracking regulation train leaving the station.

At DEC’s request, DOH has hired outside experts to review DEC’s assessment of the health impacts of fracking. Releasing revised draft regulations before these experts have been allowed to conduct their health review completely undercuts the role of the state’s own experts and calls into question whether this ‘outside review’ is anything more than a paper exercise – one that the state cannot be bothered to finish before moving forward with its own plan.

Had DEC really intended to let science guide the process, as Governor Cuomo has repeatedly promised, it would have allowed the old rulemaking package to expire, waited for the experts to complete the health and environmental reviews, and released new revised regulations based on the findings of these studies.

If DEC refuses to commit to let science inform revised regulations after its studies are complete, Riverkeeper calls for DEC to release to the public the revised regulations they have filed in order to give citizens the opportunity to comment yet again on the misguided path the state is choosing to follow – a path that could move fracking forward in New York as early as February, 2013.”