Landowners, Activists Respond to State Delay on Fracking
2/13/2013 (Updated 6:48:09 PM)(Source: Jason Weinstein)
Anti-fracking activists are happy to hear State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah's announcement that his study of the health impact of the drilling process won't be done in time for the state to make a February 27th deadline to release a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement - or SGEIS. That document would set fracking regulations.
"We need to study this in a very public way with New York's fantastic medical community on board and the public able to participate at every step," said Issac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action of New York.
Missing the deadline means the state may have to restart the regulatory process, which could delay a decision on fracking months or longer. But DEC Commissioner Joe Martens did say yesterday that he could issue permits before
the SGEIS is complete if the Department of Health finds it has adequately addressed health concerns - something landowners are taking solace in.
"We've all been looking at February 27th as the deadline for the regulations. And many of us thought we'd be going at this for many more months, six months, a year if the regulations are not finished by the 27th. In that respect we were pleased that the DEC said it doesn't have to go that way," said Scott Kurkoski, attorney for the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York.
The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is still working on a lawsuit it says it's ready to file if a delay on fracking continues.
"The state has taken our private property rights and under the United States Constitution the government needs to compensate us for the loss of our property rights," said Kurkoski.
The anti-fracking activists see no reason to allow fracking without a complete understanding of it's health impact.
"We feel the more science that is brought to bare it just makes more and more the case that we're not ready to proceed with fracking," said Chris Burger of the Binghamton Sustainability Coalition.
****In Binghamton, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****
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