HERD ABOUT IT?
by Ana Grarian
Yesterday Ana went to the NYS Capitol in Albany along with, Neighbors United For the Fingerlakes, Shaleshock and about 20 other regional environmental citizen groups, to meet with legislators, for a day of lobbying to promote the passage of the Englebright/Addabbo bills to put a moratorium on drilling in the Marcellus Shale in NYS.
Given that the DEC will soon complete its woefully inadequate general environmental impact study, which could allow for permitting to begin as early as December of this year, it is important to have this bill signed during this legislative session.
The Englebright /Addabbo bill would put a moratorium on drilling until 120 days after the EPA completes a Congressionally ordered study on the environmental impact of horizontal slick-water hydro-fracking.
The group Ana was with, met with representatives from the offices of Sen. Malcolm Smith, Sen.Carl Kruger, and Sen. Charles Fuschillo. Our meetings went well and were encouraging, in that, the Senators are also concerned about the negative impacts to the NYS environment and quality of life, from hydrofracking. Unfortunately at this time the senators are not ready to cosponsor the bill. Elections are coming and these downstate representatives are currently more afraid of the political backlash from Republican spin (that somehow passage of this bill is a vote against upstate jobs) than they are from regular voters.
It is important to let our government officials know where the voters stand on the issues. And when the issue can be spun through an upstate/downstate hostility, it is even more important that voters from all over the state urge legislators to back environmentally sound policies.
Pete Grannis commissioner of the DEC has already given downstate representatives a free pass in their own districts to avoid this fight. NY City’s watershed has been placed under different, more restrictive, rules for drilling and protecting water supplies.
We need an upstate-downstate alliance to protect the drinking water for ALL of us. After all the food we produce in CNY goes to feed NYC. If you want healthy food, you need healthy farmers, livestock and crops.
Another team went to visit some upstate representatives. Ana Is relieved to hear that Sen Nazzolio and Assemblyperson Finch are committed to making sure the Auburn Waste Water Treatment Plant does not illegally take in toxic waste water from fracking sites. Waste water is being trucked out of PA to other states because there are not enough facilities with the technology to successfully clean the fluids of toxic chemicals and radioactivity.
This was Ana’s second trip to Albany and it is nice to learn that our representatives will take the time to hear from ordinary citizens.