Assemblymember Steck Helps Pass Assembly Hydrofracking Moratorium

Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced the Assembly passed legislation that would delay the issuance of hydrofracking permits in New York State until May 15, 2015 (A.5424-A). This measure would also require a comprehensive health impact assessment be completed by a SUNY school of public health and made public no later than April 15, 2015.

“Hydrofracking is a gamble that myself and many New Yorkers are not ready to take,” Assemblymember Steck said. “The risks involved in this process are too great and I will not allow families to be put needlessly in danger just so gas companies can make even more record profits.”

“New Yorkers deserve this much-needed moratorium and we applaud Assemblymember Steck for his vote,” said Katherine Nadeau, Water & Natural Resources Program Director of Environmental Advocates of New York. “We simply do not have all the information we need to make an informed decision at this time. It would be grossly irresponsible to put our communities in jeopardy, or risk our environment and public health, without first knowing all the risks involved in fracking.”

Hydraulic fracturing – commonly referred to as hydrofracking – is a process used to extract natural gas by injecting a chemical cocktail and highly pressurized water into underground rock formations. The primary concerns surrounding the process are that hydrofracking could contaminate clean drinking water supplies and cause potentially irreversible damage to the surrounding environment. It would be grossly irresponsible to allow hydrofracking to take place in our state without knowing the long term effects this process would have on our communities, Assemblymember Steck added.

“Instead of allowing hydrofracking, an energy production method that will only make us more dependent on fossil fuels, we should be looking toward new sources of energy,” Assemblymember Steck said. “Local companies like General Electric are developing renewable energy sources and are creating a lot of jobs in the process, gas companies will come in and get the resources they need and get out, taking their jobs with them.”