New Yorkers Against Fracking Calls on New York Leaders To Follow Suit
Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin yesterday signed legislation that will make Vermont the first state in the nation to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
In response to the news that Vermont became the first state in the nation to banfracking, New Yorkers Against Fracking issued the following statement:
“When I went to VT to testify before the Senate committee it was refreshing to see legislators listening and asking important questions about the science,about the geology, the wastewater, and possible health impacts and showing real concern for their agriculture, said Wes Gillingham, Program Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper. ”We urge Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to listen to the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have called for a ban in order to protect New York’s communities from fracking’s unacceptable dangers.”
“Fracking has caused enormous problems with underground water contamination and aboveground waste disposal – entire streams have been destroyed,” said noted author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben.
“This is a shot that will be heard, if not around the world then at least around the country,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.
About New Yorkers Against Fracking
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of diverse organizations that support a fracking ban, are joining together to tell Governor Cuomo and ourleaders in Albany to stand up for New Yorkers to keep our water and our state safe by banning hydrofracking.
Founding members of New Yorkers Against Fracking include statewide and national organizations like Citizen Action of New York, New York State Breast Cancer Network, Food & Water Watch, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Frack Action, Water Defense, the Working Families Party joining with local grassroots anti-fracking groups and business in each part of thestate such as Brewery Ommegang, Frack-Free Catskills and FingerlakesClean Waters Initiative and many more. The full list ofover 100 organizations can be found at: http://www.nyagainstfracking/members.
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author, biologist,advocate and recent winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for herlife’s work, donated a significant portion of her award to help prevent fracking in New York – providing the seed money for this effort. Diagnosed with cancer in her youth, Steingraber is a central voice in the fight against fracking and hasdevoted her career to understanding the ways in which chemical contaminants in air, water and food endanger human health.
Sandra will serve as an honorary member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking advisory committee. Joining Sandra as honoraryadvisory committee members will be Niagara native, former Love Canal resident and founder of Center for Health, Environment and Justice Lois Gibbs and outspoken anti-fracking advocate, upstate resident and actor Mark Ruffalo, the co-founder of Water Defense.
About Hydraulic Fracking:
High volume hydraulic fracturing, combined with horizontal drilling, involves pumping millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand underground to extract natural gas from shale bedrock. Multiple studies show how inherently dangerous it is. Most New Yorkers are wary of fracking. A recent Marist poll found a majority of New Yorkers oppose legalizing fracking due to its potential to contaminate New York’s watersheds with carcinogens and other toxicants.
With or without regulations in place, fracking is a menace to public health. It lays down blankets of smog, fills roadway with trucks hauling hazardous materials, sends sediment into streams, and generates immense quantities of radioactive, carcinogen-laced waste for which no fail-safe disposal options exist.
Since fracking began in states outside of NewYork, there have been more than a thousand reports of water contamination. New studies link fracking-related activities to contaminated groundwater, air pollution, illness, death and reproductive problems in cows, horses and wildlife, and most recently human health problems. A recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health found that those living within a half-mile of a natural gas drilling site faced greater health risks than those who live farther away.
New York has seen a surge of local fracking bans enacted across the state. Overall, 107 local jurisdictions have enacted bans or moratoria in New York State. Seventy-one municipalities are also considering or staging a ban or moratorium. In the past few weeks,Buffalo, the second largest city in New York, and Niagara Falls both passed resolutions calling for Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to pass a statewide ban on fracking.