15 Green Groups Call for State-Required Environmental Review of Propane Fracking in NYS

ALBANY, NY (04/12/2012)(readMedia)-- A coalition of 15 environmental organizations today delivered a letter to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens calling on the agency to undertake additional environmental review, as required by state law, of any applications for shale gas exploration by means of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Media reports suggest that the Canadian gas company, GasFrac Energy Services, Inc., has reached a preliminary agreement with the Tioga County Landowners Association to employ Houston-based driller eCORP in drilling gas wells in Tioga County using the unconventional technique of fracking with LPG. These reports further suggest that the coalition's strategy is to bypass New York State's current de facto moratorium on high-volume fracking through use of an alternative fracturing agent. Fifteen groups released the following statement with the letter:

"The law is clear--New York State does not permit gas drilling with propane, butane, or any other gases used in LPG fracking. And despite newspaper stories to the contrary, an application to frack gas wells with liquefied petroleum gas like propane would require the preparation of either a supplemental generic or site-specific environmental impact statement prior to any well permitting.

With the exception of the industry, no one knows much about LPG fracking. It's only been around for a couple of years and it's a proprietary process. But we do know that LPG fracking uses a highly explosive gas as its fracturing agent mixed with dangerous chemicals, has significant waste disposal challenges, and the potential to forever alter the character and health of our communities.

Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation must compel a thorough environmental review, as required by law and as needed to protect the public and environment from harm, before even considering giving propane fracking the green light."

The letter's signatories include Adirondack Mountain Club, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Earthjustice, EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project, Environment America, Environment New York, Environmental Advocates of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council, New York Public Interest Research Group, Riverkeeper, Inc., Sierra Club, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, and Theodore Gordon Flyfishers.


Erica Ringewald, Environmental Advocates of New York, 518-210-9903

Kate Slusark, NRDC, 212-727-4592

Tracy Carluccio, Deputy Director, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 215-692-2329

Nadia Steinzor, Marcellus Shale Regional Organizer, Earthworks, 315-677-4111

Jason Pitt, Press Secretary, Natural Gas Reform Campaign, Sierra Club, 202-675-6272

Deborah Goldberg, Earthjustice, 212-791-1881 x8227

Sarah Eckel, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, 518-339-2853

Neil F. Woodworth, Adirondack Mountain Club, 518-439-2864 or cell 518-669-0128

John Rumpler, Senior Attorney, Environment America, 617 747-4306

David VanLuven, Director, Environment New York, (518) 427-1564 x124 c: (518) 364-0246