Statement By Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer On Report On Hydraulic Fracturing In New York State
Today’s reports indicating the imminent release of the new draft environmental impact statement for hydraulic fracturing in New York State raise crucial environmental and public health related questions for New Yorkers. As documents and other materials from the DEC emerge I, along with many others, will be adding my voice to what I know will be a rigorous public debate. I want to commend the Governor for his continuing sensitivity to this issue and the concerns it has raised across the state.
However, we do know one thing for certain, and it is troubling: Governor Paterson’s Executive Order #41, which mandated a revised draft environmental impact statement, contains a loophole that is unacceptable to New York City residents. Executive Order #41 states that the DEC may schedule public hearings on this issue in New York City, but does not explicitly require the DEC to collect anything more than written comments.
Regardless of what the draft environmental impact statement may contain upon its release, it is obvious to me that the State’s review process will be insufficient and incomplete without public hearings in New York City. I call on the Governor to release a schedule of New York City public hearings together with the new draft environmental impact statement so that concerned New Yorkers can be assured that their viewpoints – whatever they may be – will be heard in person and by the Commissioner.