Back in July, the Western New York Environmental Alliance sent a letter to Governor Cuomo requesting that representatives from our region be included in an advisory council on hydraulic fracturing. We overlooked sharing about this important letter when it was first released, so we are sharing it with Grow readers now.
The letter to Governor Cuomo was written by Robert E. Knoer, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Alliance. Knoer wrote:
"The role of High-volume hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking") in Western New York's economic and environmental future has been of significant discussion among our members. We have heard the debate as to the potential role of natural gas in our future energy mix as a contributor to our economy and its potential to effect positive climate change policy.
You have recently empaneled an advisory council to assist with working through the difficult economic and environmental questions surrounding hydrofracking. It is a very august panel that you have assembled and we appreciate your efforts in bringing these people together.
I must however express our concern that there are no representatives of the Western New York region on the panel. While acknowledging that this is not a "regional" panel I note that there has been a natural dichotomy created by the proposed SGEIS. The current proposed course of action distinguishes among watersheds: Disturbance around the New York City and Syracuse watersheds from hydrofracking activities is unacceptable within a 4000 foot buffer. However when addressing the Primary aquifers that dominate upstate non-filtered water supplies the DEC determined that "Horizontal extraction of gas resources underneath the Primary Aquifers from well pads located outside this area (500 feet) would not significantly impact this valuable water resource" (dSGEIS Executive Summary pg. 18).
There appears to be a distinction, albeit perhaps unintentional, of the impact of the state policy between Western New York and downstate aquifers. As such, we feel it is appropriate that the Western New York environmental concerns be fully and thoroughly vetted as this discussion proceeds.
Click here to read the entire letter written by the Environmental Alliance. The letter was not only sent to Governor Cuomo. It was also sent to the entire Western New York delegation of the State Senate. In August, New York State Senator Timothy M. Kennedy (58th district) responded to the letter to express his agreement with the need for a Western New York voice on the panel. Senator Kennedy sent a letter to Governor Cuomo expressing his view. Recently, New York State Senator Mark J. Grisanti (60th district) also sent a letter to Governor Cuomo in support of this issue.
- Click here to view a copy of Senator Timothy M. Kennedy's letter.
- Click here to view a copy of Senator Mark J. Grisanti's letter.
To learn more about the Environmental Alliance and it's members, visit http://growwny.org/organizations.