October 4, 2010 – In a letter to Governor Paterson on October 1st, Assembly Member O’Donnell reiterated his call for a moratorium on the drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing or “hydrofracking.”
The letter was in response to recent news that Department of Environmental Conservation staff will be drastically cut. In his letter, O’Donnell stressed the already questionable oversight of drilling in New York, saying:
“This week’s news of probable Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) staff reductions underscores the need for a halt to all drilling. Even with full staffing at DEC, it remains unclear whether the agency can properly oversee any increase in drilling applications.”
“Until all matters of DEC funding are resolved and proper oversight of any future drilling is ensured, a moratorium is essential to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers and key to the protection of our natural resources… One cannot simultaneously expand a new, relatively untested form of drilling and cut funding for the regulatory agency and then expect people to rely on any assurances of safety.”
Commissioner Pete Grannis of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Commissioner Cas Holloway of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection were also copied on the letter.