DEC issues Findings Statement concluding extensive seven-year review
The state Department of Environmental Conservation today officially prohibited high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York state by issuing its formal Findings Statement, completing the state's seven-year review of this activity.
"After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "High-volume hydraulic fracturing poses significant adverse impacts to land, air, water, natural resources and potential significant public health impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated. This decision is consistent with DEC's mission to conserve, improve and protect our state's natural resources, and to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state."
The Findings Statement concludes there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts, and address risks to public health from this activity.
DEC based the Findings Statement on the vast research included in the Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement released last month. The FSGEIS included consideration of extensive public comment and the Department of Health's Public Health Review, which concluded there is considerable uncertainty as to potential health impacts from HVHF, and that should not move forward in New York.
The Findings Statement is the culmination of the environmental review process to fully evaluate the environmental impacts of this activity. It details the widespread potential impacts from the HVHF process, including impacts to water and air resources, ecosystems and wildlife, community character and public health.
For a copy of the Findings Statement, visit DEC's website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html.
"When it comes to the proposed industrialization of New York state's rural landscape, we've taken a strong stand for the protection of New York's historic and cultural assets," said Jay DiLorenzo, president of the Preservation League of New York State. "In 2012, the League listed the resources in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions on our 'Seven to Save' list of endangered places due to the threat posed by high-volume hydrofracking. For more than two years, the League has worked with local activists, delivered public testimony and provided extensive comments in response to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation draft environmental impact study of the practice. We are pleased that the DEC has determined that New York state is no place for high-volume hydrofracking, and all future uses of the practice will be banned."
American Petroleum Institute New York's Karen Moreau said, "This decision is a moratorium on New York's economic opportunity. After five years of comprehensive study, the EPA's $32 million review confirms that properly regulated fracking poses no systemic widespread threat to drinking water. New York remains idle while thousands of families in NY's southern tier have their hopes for economic opportunity dashed by the governor's decision."
API New York is a division of API, which represents all segments of America's oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 625 members produce, process and distribute most of the nation's energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans.
"Hydraulic fracturing is a proven, 60-plus-year-old process that has been used safely in over 1 million American wells," Moreau said. "Surging production of natural gas is a major reason U.S. carbon emissions are near 20-year lows. Remaining questions cited by EPA have all been addressed by a wide array of strong state regulations, industry standards and federal laws.
"The governor's constrained path maintains the status quo on economic development - costing the Empire State. New York households would benefit in several ways from a pro-development energy strategy. There would be increased annual household income, as well as energy savings. Hydraulic fracturing is being done safely across the country, under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry-best practices."
Some additional information courtesy of readMedia.