December 31, 2009
Bureau of Oil & Gas Regulation
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Mineral Resources
625 Broadway – Third Floor
Albany, New York 12233
Dear Sir or Madam:
As a Member of the New York State Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee, I would like to add my voice to all those individuals and groups who have serious reservations about proposed plans involving the Marcellus Shale drilling project in New York State.
I respectfully request that the deadline, which has been set for today will be further extended so that a more careful analysis of this plan will include more scientific data projections about the risk this project may have on New York’s supply of drinking water. This extension of time may provide New Yorkers and interested individuals and organizations an opportunity to better assess the facts and risk factors involved.
Numerous credible environmental organizations have concluded that this drilling effort may have a dangerous impact on the drinking water supply for New Yorkers. New York City Department of Environmental Protection submitted a written proposal against the Marcellus Shale drilling plan.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s written comments suggest that agencies like the New York State Public Service Commission and the New York State Department of Health should have involvement in assessing the impact on New York City’s watershed of this proposed drilling. The EPA’s statement on this topic includes the following: “EPA is particularly concerned about the potential risks associated with gas drilling activities in the New York City watershed and the reservoirs that collect drinking water for nine million people.”
The EPA warned that if gas drilling adversely impacts water quality in the watershed, the City of New York would have to spend $10 billion dollars to construct a filtration treatment system which would cost $100 million yearly to operate. Even if New Yorkers were forced to bear this expense there would be no assurance that the water quality would be the same as "pre-drilling" water quality.
New York's watershed reservoir system is the result of masterful planning, insight and foresight to provide clean water to 9 million people of New York City. State officials have a duty to thoroughly scrutinize any proposals such as shale drilling, especially if it threatens the foundation of our reservoir watershed system.
Marcos A. Crespo
Member of Assembly