Top 10 Fracking Flaws (revised DSGEIS)
1. New York State isn’t proposing to ban any chemicals, even those known to be
toxic and carcinogenic. While the proposed public disclosure component has been
strengthened, telling New Yorkers what toxic chemicals will be used is not the
same as protecting the public from negative health impacts.
2. The preliminary draft allows drilling waste to escape treatment as hazardous
waste, even if it is in fact hazardous under the law. This means fracking waste
could be sent to treatment facilities unable to properly treat it, putting the health
and safety of our waters and communities at grave risk.
3. The state proposes allowing sewage plants to treat drilling wastes, even
though such plants are not permitted to handle the toxic elements in such wastes,
and even though the DEC itself has called into question New York’s capacity and
ability to treat fracking wastes.
4. Drinking water supplies would be inadequately protected. The preliminary
draft increases buffers and setbacks from aquifers and wells. However the
protections are inconsistent and can be waived in some instances. All setbacks
and buffers must be set to provide maximum protections that cannot be altered.
5. Some fracking restrictions would have sunset dates. The preliminary draft
proposes to place some areas of the state off limits to gas drilling, but upon closer
examination, many of the restrictions have sunset dates and some of the protective
buffers only call for site-specific individual environmental review, rather than
6. The preliminary draft does not analyze public health impacts, despite the fact
that fracking-related air pollution and the potential for water contamination have
serious effects on people—especially the elderly and children, and communities
downwind and downstream of proposed fracking operations. There is growing
evidence of negative health impacts related to gas extraction in other states.
7. The DEC proposes issuing permits before formal rulemaking is complete, a
backward move that leaves New York’s waters and communities at risk.
8. The state is breaking up environmental impact reviews. The thousands of
miles of pipelines or compressor stations required for drilling to get the resulting
gas to market will be reviewed by a different agency under a different process.
Without an accounting of such impacts, New York’s environmental assessment is
incomplete and the full impacts of fracking are unknown. The Public Service
Commission has jurisdiction over gas infrastructure. As such, Governor Cuomo
should direct state agencies to coordinate their efforts in order to protect our air,
water and communities.
9. While proposing to put the New York City and Syracuse watersheds offlimits
to drilling, critical water supply infrastructure would not be protected.
The state proposes a buffer around New York City drinking water infrastructure
in which only an additional review would be required and upon which projects
could be permitted—not a formal ban. The proposed buffer is only one-quarter as
long as a typical horizontal wellbore, too close to the sensitive, aging
infrastructure that provides the city with drinking water. There are no proposed
buffer requirements for Syracuse.
10. New York’s environmental agency has been subject to steep budget and staff
cuts and does not have adequate staff or resources to properly oversee
fracking, even if every possible protection were in place. This reality raises the
possibility that the DEC will be forced to cut corners with its reviews or fast-track
permits despite the risks. Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental
Advocates of New York are members of an advisory panel expected to weigh in
on agency resources and staffing in the months to come.
read more at www.CleanWaterNotDirtyDrilling.org NY has a mere 60 days to comment to the DEC and advocate for more responsible mandate. Let your voice be heard!