New Report: New York Fails to Oversee Oil and Gas Drilling, Enforce Laws
Environmental Organizations Call on Governor Cuomo to Heed Wakeup Call on New York's Lax Oversight
ALBANY, NY (07/17/2012)(readMedia)-- In response to a new report released by Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project-NYS DEC: Inadequate enforcement guarantees irresponsible oil and gas development (http://enforcement-ny.earthworksaction.org), which questions New York's ability to oversee the state's existing and proposed gas drilling operations-Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Environmental Advocates of New York, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Hudson Riverkeeper, Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter, and Environment New York released the following statement:
"Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project's report should be a wakeup call for the Cuomo administration and all New Yorkers. The report demonstrates that New York isn't keeping up with oversight of the state's existing oil and gas wells enforcement, which is essential to protecting health and air and water quality. Fines and penalties for lawbreakers remain low and transparency on the information citizens deserve is sorely lacking.
Added up, these shortcomings point to a potential nightmare scenario if New York moves forward with hydraulic fracturing in deep shale such as the Marcellus, or "fracking."
The report also echo previous research (http://bit.ly/Mry1lf) showing that budget and staff cutbacks leave the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) operating with fewer trained personnel now, just as the Governor is contemplating an expansion of drilling. New York's current and historic inability to effectively oversee gas development in the state calls into serious question its ability to protect New Yorkers from additional operations.
Governor Cuomo must do what it takes to address industry oversight and enforcement-as well as the many other issues being left unaddressed at great risk to the public and the environment. He must do this before considering permitting additional wells in New York."
For more information:
Melissa Andreychek, Environmental Advocates of New York, 412-680-1277
Tina Posterli, Riverkeeper, 914-478-4501 x239
David VanLuven, Environment New York, 518-364-0246
Sarah Eckel, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, 518-339-2853
Roger Downs, Sierra Club-Atlantic Chapter, 518-426-9144