After Almost Seven Years, New York State Completes Environmental Review of Fracking

Analysis of health impacts support ban to protect public health


Keith Rushing, Earthjustice, (202) 797-5236


Deborah Goldberg, Earthjustice, (212) 845-7377

Following the historic announcement in December that New York State would ban fracking, the Department of Environmental Conservation today released of a lengthy technical document analyzing the health and environmental impacts of the controversial practice.

The document, called a Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FSGEIS) provides the basis for concluding that high-volume hydraulic fracturing, in which gas drillers blast millions of gallons of water mixed with toxic chemicals into the ground to extract gas from hard-to-reach deposits deep in the earth, is too dangerous to proceed in New York.

The following is a statement from Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg, who represented the Town of Dryden, N.Y., in a precedent-setting case in which the state’s highest court allowed municipalities throughout New York to ban fracking.

"The science in support of fracking’s threats to air, water, and public health has been stacking up steadily. And Governor Andrew Cuomo has done what no other state leader has had the courage to do: let the available scientific evidence dictate whether fracking should proceed in New York. Governors in California, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and elsewhere should take note.

"We now await the written findings and determination that will formalize the ban.  Industry groups are threatening to sue, but the attorneys at Earthjustice are confident the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s robust FSGEIS will support the ban, and we pledge to help the state defend the ban in any legal challenge."

A farmhouse near the town of Dryden in upstate New York.
(Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)
A farmhouse near the town of Dryden in upstate New York. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

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