Saturday, December 11, 2010

New York City Environmental Commissioner Comments On DRBC Drilling Rules

The following statement was issued by New York City Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway on the decision Thursday by the Delaware River Basin Commission to issue draft regulations covering Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the watershed--

"We are disappointed that the Delaware River Basin Commission has decided to issue draft regulations without first conducting a study of the potential impacts of hydrofracking in a watershed that supplies drinking water for 15 million people.
'While there will be opportunity to comment on the draft, and engage in additional analysis during the next 90 days, pressure will undoubtedly mount to make the draft regulations final as soon as possible; and that pressure is not conducive to making a considered decision about hydrofracking in the Delaware River Basin based only on the best data and science about the potential impacts of hydrofracking on water quality and public health.
'Any decisions about drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale must be based on detailed scientific and technical reviews. DEP's own study determined that based on the best available science and the current state of technology, hydrofracking cannot safely be conducted in the New York City Watershed. Decisions about drilling within the shared Delaware River Basin should be made on the same strong analytical foundation.
'The City of New York has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. These investments protect water quality for the 15 million people who rely on the Delaware River watershed for clean drinking water. The Delaware River is a shared resource and changes in its watershed's environment affect us all. While we don't agree with the release of draft regulations without the benefit of a comprehensive study, we will continue to work with the Commission to ensure that the cumulative impacts are known before any final regulations are issued."
DEP manages the city's water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City, and residents of Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties. New York City's water is delivered from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes.

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