NYC Elected Officials Ask State Environmental Agency to Conduct In-City Hearings Regarding Impact of Gas Drilling near the City Watershed

December 3, 2008
Forty-five elected officials have sent a letter to State Environmental Commissioner Alexander B. Grannis urging him to conduct in-City hearings on the impact of gas and oil drilling near the City’s reservoirs and watershed. Shale has been discovered in the watershed and there is broad public concern about the dangers to the City’s water supply from exploratory drilling and gas production.

In the letter sent to Commissioner Grannis on December 2, 2008, NYC Councilmembers, NYS Assemblymembers and NYS Senators cite the potentially grave consequences of drilling near the City’s reservoirs and the need to give local advocates and concerned citizens an opportunity to testify.

To date, none of the agency’s scoping hearings for the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program has been held in the City. Instead, hearings have been held in Bath, Oneonta, Binghamton, Elmira, and Loch Sheldrake, all of which are at such a distance from NYC that City residents are effectively prevented from testifying.

“It’s critical for NYC citizens and elected officials to participate in these hearings. What’s at stake are the purity of our water supply and possibly dire consequences from drilling in the vicinity of the watershed,” said Assemblymember Jim Brennan (D-Bklyn). “To protect our water supply, I’ve sponsored legislation to put a moratorium on all oil and gas drilling statewide and permanently ban any drilling in the New York City watershed.”

The letter to Commissioner Grannis was signed by: Sen. Eric Adams, Sen. Martin Golden, Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Sen. Liz Krueger, Sen.Velmanette Montgomery, Sen. George Onorato, Sen. Frank Padavan, Sen. Bill Perkins, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, Sen. Jose Serrano, Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, AM Jeffrion Aubry, AM Michael Benjamin, AM Jonathan Bing, AM William Boyland, Jr., AM James F. Brennan, AM Alec Brook-Krasny, AM William Colton, AM Jeffrey Dinowitz, AM Deborah Glick, AM Richard Gottfried, AM Aurelia Greene, AM Dov Hikind, AM Rhoda Jacobs, AM Micah Kellner, AM Rory Lancman, AM Joseph Lentol, AM Alan Maisel, AM Nettie Mayersohn, AM Joan Millman, AM Catherine Nolan, AM Felix Ortiz, AM Audrey Pheffer, AM Annette Robinson, AM Linda Rosenthal, AM Louis Tobacco, AM Ellen Young CM Joseph Addabbo, Jr., CM Tony Avella, CM Gale A. Brewer, CM Leroy Comrie, CM Letitia James, CM Michael Nelson, CM David Weprin and CM David Yassky.