Tag Archive: environment

Jan 12 2013

Councilman Calls On DEC To Mitigate Dangers Of Hydrofracking

Gennero_small-300x225Councilman Gennaro continues the fight against the dangers of hydrofracking.

Press Release: City Council Member James F. Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), Chairman of the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection, called on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to establish crucial safeguards to protect New York City’s water supply system from some of the worst effects of the process of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF), also known as fracking.

In a letter sent to NYSDEC before the Jan. 11 deadline for comment on the agency’s proposed Revised High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations, Gennaro backed the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (NYCDEP) proposed 7-mile buffer zone to safeguard much of the city’s Upstate vital water tunnels from possible increased seismic activity caused by fracking practices.

However, in order to minimize the chance of catastrophic damage to city’s Upstate water tunnels and aqueducts, which provide 1 billion gallons of water each day to 9 million New Yorkers, Gennaro called for the 7-mile buffer zone to be extended to cover even more of the system.

Currently, NYCDEP proposes a 7-mile buffer for parts of the water system, and  a “hybrid” approach for other parts of the water supply system, which would include an immediate buffer zone of 2 miles where no fracking would be allowed, plus a 5-mile zone where fracking could possibly occur subject to further environmental review and increased safeguards. Gennaro prefers that the 7-mile buffer be employed to protect all critical Upstate water supply infrastructure.

“While I respect and appreciate NYCDEP’s good efforts to advocate for the protection of the city’s water supply infrastructure, and its current position to continue to call for the 7-mile buffer for the most critical elements of the water supply infrastructure, I am uncomfortable with the hybrid approach and the additional risk it brings to water supply infrastructure protected by the hybrid approach,”Gennaro said. “Also, with no apparent financial mechanism to pay for possible multi-billion dollar damage to the system from fracking other than New York City water rate-payers, it is unacceptable, in my view, for the city to assume any additional risk to the system.”

Gennaro, who first spoke out on the issue of fracking in June 2008, is featured in the award-winning 2010 documentary, “Gasland,” which focuses on communities impacted by natural gas drilling. 


Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2013/01/councilman-calls-on-dec-to-mitigate-dangers-of-hydrofracking/

Nov 28 2012

NYC Environmental Chair Supports Cuomo on Hydrofracking Process

ICMYI: Councilman Jim Gennaro, one of the most outspoken opponents of hydrofracking – and the only geologist in the City Council – applauds Governor Cuomo’s initiative to regulate the hydrofracking industry.


FRESH MEADOWS, NY (November 26, 2012) – “As the first public official in New York State to speak out in June of 2008 about the potential adverse environmental and public health impacts drilling for natural gas by the use of high volume hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as ‘hydrofracking,’ I am compelled to voice my strong support for Governor Cuomo’s leadership on this issue,” Chairman Gennaro said.

“As a geologist and Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection of the New York City Council, I have done my best in the many hearings I have held on this subject to keep abreast of the voluminous amount of emerging science regarding the potential impacts of hydrofracking.  That in itself has been a daunting undertaking, but is nothing compared to what the Governor and his environmental team are trying to do – to create a regulatory paradigm for hydrofracking that will be sufficiently protective of the State’s public health and our irreplaceable water, air and land resources.

Such an endeavor is difficult in the extreme within a milieu of emerging science, and I applaud Governor Cuomo for his diligent science-based approach in this matter.  The Governor has always made it clear in his many public statements on hydrofracking that he would be guided by science and safety, and that the advancement of hydrofrackingwould not come at the expense of our State’s irreplaceable natural resources.  He has lived up to his word and not succumbed to political pressure and artificial timetables.  I applaud him for that.

It should be noted that the Governor and his environmental and energy resources team are trying to do what has not been accomplished – or even attempted – in other states that have permitted hydrofracking:  to regulate hydrofracking such that the gas companies bear the full cost of production of their product, and not have their product “subsidized” by the degradation of the State’s water, air and land resources.  Such resources, of course, belong to the current and future generations of New Yorkers, and do not exist merely to increase the gas companies’ bottom line.

So I thank Governor Cuomo for being open to the economic, employment and energy benefits that would accrue from safely extracting natural gas from gas-bearing shale formations in New York State, but I am grateful that he has prioritized the health of New Yorkers and the long term protection of the State’s irreplaceable natural resources over a short term energy and economic boost from hydrofracking.”

Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2012/11/nyc-environmental-chair-supports-cuomo-on-hydrofracking-process/

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