Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D,I,C,WF-Cheektowaga) announced the Assembly expects to take up legislation that suspends new hydrofracking in New York until June 2012 (A.7400).
“At this point, we don’t have complete disclosure as to what kinds of chemicals are being released and how it’s going to impact the environment and the people around the site,” Assemblyman Gabryszak said “Before I agree to hydrofracking, we need know the impacts before drilling. The moratorium will only last for one year and would allow the legislature sufficient time to review the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is currently working on. Once we can review the environmental impact then we can put together a plan that will ensure the environment is protected and everyone who lives near these sites are safe.”
New York isn’t the first state to express concerns about hydrofracking. Several states have reported water contamination, habitat destruction and chemical spills due to hydrofracking. In Pennsylvania, an energy company has been fined $1.1 million after two hydrofracking incidents caused a tank fire and contaminated well water during natural gas drilling operations. The fire was blamed on improper handling of a liquid form of natural gas called condensate. Equipment failure while “fracking” caused thousands of gallons of chemical-laced water to contaminate a stream leading to the evacuation of nearby families.i
Additionally, the U.S. Congress has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a study on this method of natural-gas drilling.
“It is worth the wait if we are going to save ourselves from having to deal with situations like the numerous environmental disasters that we have seen, most notably the incident in Pennsylvania and the BP oil spill,” said Assemblyman Gabryszak. “Though hydrofracking could have the potential to create jobs, and give this area a much deserved economic boom, there is just too much at stake to continue ‘fracking’ without an environmental impact report. That is why I will vote in favor of suspending hydrofracking for one year.”