Ask the Commish About Fracking

06 Oct, 2011

By Joyce Newman, Environmental Reporter

The Marcellus Shale area. Source: USGS


If you missed the recent forum on fracking (see our coverage), you can still participate in the current discussion. This Saturday, October 8th at 9 AM, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens will be online to answer citizens’ questions about fracking.


The fracking issue has become controversial in New York State.  Lack of regulation for fracking activities in Pennsylvania and elsewhere has created significant environmental damage, such as contaminated drinking water,documented by a recent New York Times investigation.


Pro Publica,an investigative journalism site, initiated an ongoing investigation of the issue, as well as a fracking music video!


Starting today,  you can submit your questions about fracking online via a new CitizenConnects website created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to be an “electronic town hall.” Then on Saturday morning, you can go to the website to see if your question is answered.


Some sample questions for the Commissioner have been developed by Environmental Advocates of New York. They include:



  • What does New York plan to do with millions of gallons of fracking wastewater?

  • How does New York plan to regulate the toxic chemicals used by the gas industry to frack its gas wells? Some of the chemicals they use are known carcinogens.

  • The Department of Environmental Conservation is stretched thin due to budget and staff cuts. How do you plan to monitor the gas industry in New York?


You can read the controversial revised draft rules for New York State here. The deadline for public comment is Dec. 12.


 


 
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