Raul Larios

Don’t F**ck with New York!

Dont Frack with New York 3Some of you might remember that about a year ago, I wrote a blog post about the pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing in New York State.  After some extensive research, followed by a long conversation with Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, Chair of the Health Committee at the State Assembly in Albany, I became convinced that the environmental risks to New Yorkers far outweigh any economic benefits. You can read the post here: (https://raullarios.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/new-yorkers-do-you-think-hydro-fracking-is-bad-for-your-health-3/)

Coincidentally, shortly after my blog post, Governor Cuomo extended the 4-year old moratorium on fracking in New York, to allow for a more in-depth assessment of the impact to our health.  This extension was applauded by most everybody except, of course, the oil and gas industry.  And they are mad!

The industry has been flexing its very powerful lobbying muscle and putting incredible pressure on Governor Cuomo to start to move things their way.  And they are getting some results:

Consider, for example, that the state agency responsible for drafting the regulations to oversee the fracking process were it to be approved (the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC) took the unusual step of choosing another Cuomo-controlled state agency, the Department of Health (DOH), to review the DEC’s internal analysis on the potential health impacts — instead of a totally independent non-governmental evaluation.

Moreover, this examination is happening in total secrecy (the Cuomo administration has refused multiple requests to make the DEC’s health review public).

To make matters even worse, it seems that the Dept. of Environmental Conservation doesn’t really care what the Dept. of Health or anybody else might have to say because the DEC has already issued its revised regulations, BEFORE the completion of the DOH’s health review or the release of the final version of the DEC’s massive environmental impact study initiated in 2008.  Apparently, the Cuomo administration is beginning to buckle under the intense lobbying pressure.

Fortunately, New York law requires a 30-day period for public comment on proposed regulations that would govern fracking.  The clock started ticking in mid-December, so you only have until 5pm, January 11, 2013.  If you live in New York and believe that fracking could be detrimental to your health and that it should be banned in our state, but you don’t know exactly what to do or say during this 30-day public comment period that expires January 11th, here is a great website that can help you: http://www.frackaction.com/2012/12/12/lets-make-some-comments/ .

Or you can use the comments that I have personally submitted to the DEC website.  I’m making them available in the “Reply Section” below.  Feel free to copy the ones that make the most sense to you, and submit them under your name.

You can submit your comments to the following DEC website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html

Or you can mail them to:

Attn: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-6510

Take action NOW because this will probably be your last chance to make a difference on hydraulic fracturing in New York State!  Governor Cuomo is expected to make a decision by Feb. 27.

Happy New Year!!

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January 2, 2013 Posted by | New York | , , , , , | 3 Comments

   

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