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State must understand science behind the use of hydrofracking

An open letter to Gov. David Paterson, state Senate Majority Conference Leader John Sampson and state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:

We are writing to you in support of companion bills A10490-A (Englebright) and S7592 (Addabbo). As you know, this legislation would institute a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil or natural gas in New York state until 120 days after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completes its comprehensive study on this controversial method of drilling.

The City Council has been working diligently on this issue for the past two years and we remain concerned about this type of gas extraction. Not only did the EPA recently determine it is necessary to investigate the potential adverse effects associated with hydraulic fracturing, but it also allocated $1.9 million to conduct a study on the possible health and environmental consequences of this type of drilling.

In light of this, we believe it is reasonable and prudent to understand the forthcoming science before permitting this activity in our state.

As harrowing accounts of contaminated water, soil and air due to hydraulic fracturing come in from across the country — and as the federal and other state governments have failed to confront the phenomenon of federally unregulated, unconventional drilling — New York is in a unique position to show much-needed leadership on this issue. Let our state’s action be an example to other states striving to come to grips with the emerging environmental perils and unknowns of hydrofracking.

Companion bills A10490-A and S7592 simply call for a full understanding of the environmental consequences of hydrofracking before allowing it to be undertaken in our state. We believe the logic behind these bills is overwhelmingly convincing and we urge you to support and enact this important legislation.

Christine Quinn

City Council Speaker

Manhattan

James Gennaro

City Councilman

Fresh Meadows

Helen Diane Foster

City Councilwoman

Bronx

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