News > News > Safeguard Drinking Water > RvK Asks Governor Cuomo & DEC Commissioner for 180-Day Comment Period & Public Hearings on Fracking Environmental Impact Analysis and Recommendations

RvK Asks Governor Cuomo & DEC Commissioner for 180-Day Comment Period & Public Hearings on Fracking Environmental Impact Analysis and Recommendations

For immediate release: August 15, 2011

For more information:
Contact Tina Posterli, [email protected], 914-478-4501 x239


Ossining, NY – August 15, 2011 – Riverkeeper and advocates concerned about the environmental impacts of dirty shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” called on Governor Cuomo and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today to hold no less than a 180-day comment period and statewide public hearings on the state’s proposed environmental impact analysis of fracking, formally known as the revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Statement (SGEIS). Elected officials, organizations and New Yorkers from Albany, Ithaca, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse echoed these concerns.

“New Yorkers deserve more than 60 days to comment on a report on an industrial activity that could have permanent adverse impacts on their drinking water supply,” said Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper Watershed Program Director. “New York residents’ health and safety should not be sacrificed in the rush to pursue the exploitation of methane gas deposits that have existed for millions of years.’

Riverkeeper released a letter to the Governor and Commissioner Martens calling for the 180-day comment period along with public hearings in at least the same four areas where the DEC held hearings on the 2009 draft SGEIS, Binghamton, Sullivan County, New York City and Delaware County. Riverkeeper also called on state leaders to hold hearings in communities likely to be affected by fracking, including Western New York and the Hudson Valley. Many New Yorkers in these areas did not have the opportunity to attend a public hearing in 2009.

The DEC’s preliminary revised draft SGEIS was released in July. The complete revised draft is expected to be released for public comment and review in late summer or early fall.

To frack a gas well, millions of gallons of water, sand, and toxic chemicals are pumped deep underground at high pressure. This fractures the rock that has trapped the gas for millennia and allows it to escape. From start to finish, gas development that relies on fracking is an industrial process that threatens our water. State after state, from Wyoming to Pennsylvania, has documented its dangers. New York can’t afford to put short-term gas profits ahead of the long-term health of our water and our communities.


About Riverkeeper
Riverkeeper is a member-supported, watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and its tributaries and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents. Riverkeeper is actively involved in advocacy and public education surrounding the issue of natural gas development in New York and its potential to impact drinking water. Riverkeeper has been New York’s clean water advocate for over 44 years, and has served as the model for the growing Waterkeeper movement that includes nearly 200 Keeper programs across the country and around the globe. For more information on Riverkeeper, please visit

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