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NYS is One Step Closer to Saying "No" to Fracking with DEC Report

  The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has weighed in on the fracking question and is raising concerns about the adverse environmental impact of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in New York State. While the DEC statement doesn’t explicitly state that fracking cannot be done safely, they do agree with the Health Department’s recommendation issued in December against fracking due to the uncertain risks to public health and the environment.

The impact statement released Wednesday has been in the works for over 5 years. The DEC was tasked to determine whether or not fracking could be done safely in New York State. The study incorporated community input and various academic research across the country and state, including scientific studies from Pennsylvania, where fracking is permitted and shares apart of the Marcellus shale region with New York State.

Many New York State Anti-Fracking Organizations are celebrating in support of the DEC’s findings. Water and Natural Resource Associate Liz Moran states, 

“New Yorkers asked Governor Cuomo to follow the science, and he did. Hundreds of thousands of people took time out of their personal lives, educated themselves on the danger of fracking, and engaged with their government in a way we’ve haven’t seen in years. This is a really proud moment for every one of them because protecting public health triumphed over industry pressure.” 

Others view the DEC findings will have a negative economic impact for the state. President and CEO of the Business Council of New York State, Heather Briccetti says,  

“After seven years, it is profoundly disappointing that fear and misinformation have won the day. The Business Council and its members devoted significant time and effort to the development of rigorous regulations that would allow high volume hydraulic fracturing to be done safely in New York.” 

There is a 10-day period before the impact statement becomes official and must be approved by DEC commissioner Joe Martens.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at