Leaders ask for more time to review hydrofracking review
As the DEC prepares to release the latest proposed hydrofracking guidelines, leaders in Tompkins County are asking for more time. Our Tamara Lindstrom explains.
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ITHACA, N.Y. -- It's a long-awaited document that's causing quite a stir.
"We have a very complicated document, a huge issue," said Representative Barbara Lifton.
"It's a technical document. There's a lot of data, a lot of figures and a lot of proposals," said Brendan Woodruff of NYPIRG.
The DEC is preparing to release the latest draft environmental impact statement, the proposed guidelines for hydrofracking in New York State. The agency will once again accept comments from the public.
"They need to educate themselves on the issue. They need to go through the document, they need to read it, they need to learn as much as they can. And then they need to let the DEC know how they feel," said Woodruff.
The entire document hasn't been released yet, but what is out is already more than a thousand pages. And these local leaders say that 60 days just isn't enough time for a review.
"We need the full 180 days for the citizens of this state to really look at that document. We all need the time to go through it and make sure all the pieces fit together in a coherent whole," Lifton said.
"If they really think it's safe and beneficial to communities, then they should be quite comfortable in waiting until all the data are in and people have a chance to comment," said Tompkins County Legislature Chair Martha Robertson.
Besides asking to extend the comment period from 60 to 180 days, Tompkins County officials are calling on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to hold public hearings on the document.
"I think it's important for everyone to be able to get together in one room and be able to hear from their neighbors, from scientists, from experts what the issues are," Lifton said.
As to whether the request is meant to delay any drilling...
"The gas isn't going anywhere," Robertson said.
The completed document, officially called the "Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Statement," is expected to be released in the late summer or early fall. It will be posted on the DEC website.