The Adirondack Mountain Club applauds the decision by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joseph Martens,and Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker to protect the air, waters, lands, and health of New Yorkers by prohibiting high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) or fracking in New York, now and forever.
“This decision was made on the basis of sound science and public health considerations. Governor Cuomo told New Yorkers that the difficult decision to permit or ban fracking would be based on “sound science” and he kept that promise,”said Neil Woodworth, Executive Director of the Adirondack Mountain Club.
This landmark decision was solidly based on scientific and health studies done by doctors and scientists in other states with active shale fracking operations. Dr. Zucker’s staff carefully assembled research on methane and chemical contamination of groundwater, air, and lands in the vicinity of the fracking operations in Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas.
Governor Cuomo’s decision will protect New York’s abundant and precious surface and groundwater supplies from the billions of gallons of severely contaminated water that would have been produced if the state had given a green light to fracking in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays. This wastewater is too polluted to be treated by any waste water treatment facility and must be disposed of by deep injection drilling. No one knows what the future environmental consequences of this activity will be. Of equal concern is the evidence of methane, benzene, toluene, and other dangerous chemicals in the groundwater near fracking operations due to failures in the concrete and steel components of the drill casings. ADK is especially pleased that the state forests and wildlife management areas that provide a wild setting for the Finger Lakes Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail will not be despoiled by frack drilling on or under these precious lands.