DEC Fracking report to Cuomo Friday

John Christensen
A drilling site in Pennsylvania.

The long-anticipated New York DEC report on the practice of hydraulic fracturing of horizontal gas wells will be placed before Gov.Andrew Cuomo on July 1. The New York Times is reporting that the report includes protective zones for the New York City and Syracuse drinking water supply watershed areas.

In a phone interview, DEC acting Director of Public Information Michael Bopp, declined to comment on specifics, but did say that there are protective measures in the report for major municipal water supplies.

Bopp also said that the report will doubtlessly undergo changes before it is released for the 30-day public comment period. He could not estimate when that release might be.

Interestingly, the New Jersey Legislature today voted overwhelmingly (56-11) to ban hydrofracking in their state altogether. The vote in the New Jersey Senate was 31-1 in favor of the ban. If the bill is signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie, New Jersey will be the first state in the Union to ban fracking entirely.

State senator Bob Gordon (D-Bergen) said New Jersey has now "sent a strong message to surrounding states and to the nation that a ban on fracking is necessary to protect public health."

Gordon added, "Any benefits of gas production simply do not justify the many potential dangers associated with fracking such as pollution to our lakes, streams and drinking water supplies, and the release of airborne pollutants. We should not wait until our natural resources are destroyed to act."