On Monday, January 25th, about 600 anti-hydrofracking activists marched on the Capital Building in Albany to let Governor Paterson know that we are not about to stand by idly while the environment around us is destroyed. Several prominent politicians made their voices heard in harmony with ours, and in the afternoon about 300 of us lobbied state senators on the issue. The group I took part in was successful in helping to convince Senator Onorato from Queens to support S6244 which would regulate gas drilling in NY State.
What is S6244?
--It prohibits drilling within the NYC watershed, or within five miles of its boundary;
--It prohibits drilling within the Delaware River watershed or in any area where groundwater contributes a significant base flow to surface water sources of drinking water;
--It mandates that drilling shall be conducted in ways that do not contaminate drinking water wells; if contamination does occur, presumption shall be that the drilling is responsible for contamination unless convincing evidence shows otherwise;
-- It mandates that hydraulic fracturing materials must be disclosed;
-- It offers protection to other environmental and local resources;
-- It mandates that all groundwater withdrawals of more than 5,000 gallons a day for drilling purposes require a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation and that withdrawal levels will not harm stream ecology or fishery resources;
-- It provides for regulation of permits and offenders of permits which must be monitored.
These are strong environmental standards that we truly need for the protection of our water, ecosystem, and wildlife. Please write to your senator and ask him or her to support S6244 as well!!
Also, there is a new hotline for anyone who witnesses hydrofracking mishaps or questionable practices:
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (877) 919-4EPA