New Yorkers Weigh in on Fracking Plan

Over 2,300 wildlife advocates speak up to protect New York's bog turtles from dirty gas drilling.

On Tuesday, January 11th, a coalition of conservation groups delivered more than 12,000 comments to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and 500 personal letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expressing concerns about allowing dirty gas drilling by means of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" in New York. Over 2,300 of the comments were submitted by wildlife advocates from the National Wildlife Federation Action Fund.

Watch a video from the comment delivery:

As of Monday, the DEC had already received 20,800 submissions on its 1,500-page review, on top of 13,000 it had previously received on a 2009 draft. Before high-volume hydrofracking can move forward in New York, the report has to be finalized and the agency has to complete a "responsiveness summary" responding to each substantive issue raised by the public.
--Gannett Albany Bureau Review

Fracking requires pumping millions of gallons of water laced with toxic chemicals deep into the earth to crack the shale and release gas--which can result in surface spills and risks to the safety of groundwater.

Other states have rushed forward with this dangerous practice without adequate information or regulation--and their water, wildlife and communities are paying the price. In 2009, 8,000 gallons of fracking fluid leaked into Stevens Creek near Dimrock, Pennsylvania, causing minnows, salamanders and tadpoles to swim erratically and die; and residents there still cannot consume their own drinking water.

The flood of comments came the day before a public response period on the DEC's proposed regulations and guidelines fracking is scheduled to end.

DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said the agency will read them all and respond to concerns in its review, which officials expect to complete sometime this year. Once the review is complete, hydrofracking will get a green or red light.
--The Times Union