Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) announced the Assembly passed legislation that he co-sponsored suspending the Department of Environmental Conservation’s issuance of new natural gas drilling permits for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing – known as hydrofracking – in New York until 2017 (A.5424-B).
“Due to the potential health risks associated with hydrofracking, we have to proceed cautiously,” said Mr. Dinowitz. “We cannot put our families at risk until we know for sure the consequences. The Assembly’s legislation gives us time to make an informed decision regarding hydrofracking and the possible beneficial or detrimental effects it could have on us and the environment.”
Hydrofracking is a method of extracting natural gas from underground rock formations through the injection of chemicals and highly pressurized water. There is concern that hydrofracking could have serious negative impacts on the environment and our health, especially with regards to the contamination of clean drink water supplies, the destruction of surrounding land, and increased air pollution, noted Mr. Dinowitz.
Assemblyman Dinowitz further added that key studies are underway to examine the long-term effects of hydrofracking on the environment and public health. Many of these studies are expected to be completed within the next three years.
“Although hydrofracking has the potential to yield enormous amounts of natural gas, it is imperative that we make an informed decision based the facts about the possible hazards associated with hydrofracking,” said Mr. Dinowitz. “More time and studies are needed to help decide what is best for our communities. I will not consider dropping my opposition to hydrofracking until I am convinced there is absolutely no health risk that would result from it.”