The fracking threat is imminent. Albany could permit companies to drill for natural gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York State starting as early as 2012—and without adequate protections for drinking water. Riverkeeper is filing detailed comments on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposed regulations, and the DEC and Gov. Cuomo need to hear from you, too. Personal expressions of your concerns are key to stopping the rush to frack, and the next two months offer the last meaningful opportunities for you to tell Albany what you think. Here’s how:
Download Fact Sheet on on DEC Fracking Proposal
Download New York’s Rush to Frack: a Presentation
View 10 Major Flaws with New York’s Fracking Plan
Download Kate Hudson’s testimony on the draft environmental impact statement
Your Fracking Checklist
In September 2011, the DEC released two documents for public comment: its revised draft environmental impact statement, and draft fracking regulations, the documents which would guide fracking in New York State. Comments on each are due by January 11, 2012.
The DEC is legally bound to read and respond to all comments. You may comment more than once. But you must comment by January 11, 2012.
The revised draft environmental impact statement is over 1,500 pages long, so how do you begin? Riverkeeper’s Watershed Program attorneys are filing detailed comments that will touch on a wide range of issues, from stormwater runoff to air quality. It’s not important for you to fully digest the voluminous report, but it is important for you to express your own concerns in your own words. For comment ideas, see the ‘Top 10’ flaws with the fracking environmental impact statement that Riverkeeper and its partners in the NY Water Rangers have identified. The major defects include New York’s failure to:
How to submit comments:
Type out your comments. Whether you submit your comments online or send them in the mail, it will be easier if you type them ahead of time. (The DEC does not accept comments by phone, fax or email.)
Mail your comments to Attn: dSGEIS Comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-6510. Include your name, address, and affiliation (if any).
Submit your comments online: If you prefer to comment online, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html.
When you get to the DEC’s comment page, you will notice the agency has three proposals open for comment. It’s most important to comment on the revised draft environmental impact statement (listed as “2011 rdSGEIS”). If you have time, also comment on the proposed regulations (listed as “Proposed HVHF Regulations”).
Submitting your comments to the DEC online is a multi-step process, so please follow the directions to guarantee the DEC hears from you. You’ll be asked to input your name and other personal information. We recommend that you don’t identify yourself as affiliated with Riverkeeper or any other group unless you’re a staff member; comments made by affiliates of an organization may be grouped together, rather than counted separately. You’ll be asked to select one of 25 categories for your comments. If in doubt, choose “General Comments on the 2011 Revisions.” If you have comments that fall into several categories, you can submit them one at a time. For further information or assistance with you can contact the DEC’s Bureau of Public Outreach by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 518-402-8044.
Riverkeeper has been working to protect New York City’s drinking water supply since 1997 and fighting to protect New York’s drinking water since 2008. Find more information about our campaign on the fracking section of our website.
To support Riverkeeper’s efforts, please consider becoming a member. The annual cost is $40 ($20 for students or seniors). Member donations help Riverkeeper fulfill its mission as New York’s clean water advocate.