State Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, was joined by a group of Democratic legislators Tuesday to call for a hydrofracking ban in New York State.
Avella, who is the ranking minority member of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee, and members of New Yorkers Against Fracking are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to prevent the controversial gas drilling method from being practiced in the state.
“The wide-spread and devastating effects of hydrofracking have been well documented in other states,” Avella said. “Residents in these other states that have allowed hydrofracking have paid too high a price, with contaminated water, increased seismic activity, crumbling infrastructure and lower property values.”
Last week, the senator called on the governor to undertake a comprehensive review of the potential health impacts associated with hydrofracking, which is a process of removing natural gas and petroleum by drilling through rock layers.
Those who support the procedure argue that it could be a source of energy and revenue for the state. But its opponents say it could pose dangers to the state’s water supply.
Avella and several other Democratic state Senators, including Cecilia Tkaczyk, said they believe the state should follow the lead of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who recently proposed spending $1.5 million to study the drilling procedure before making a decision on whether to allow its practice.
Other state Senators who backed Avella’s call included Terry Gipson, D-Poughkeepsie, Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, and Daniel Squadron, Manhattan.
“We have seen the disastrous consequences of hydrofracking… tainted water supplies and whole towns and regions blighted,” Krueger said. “If we rush into this, we risk the same. The people of our state deserve an open debate and consideration of legislation to ban hydrofracking, or at very least to require stronger regulatory safeguards and stricter liability standards than we have seen thus far.”
Patch wants to know: Do you believe New York State should allow hydrofracking? Post your comment in the section below.