DEC's Martens defends state's steps on hydraulic fracturing
In an online Q&A with New Yorkers this morning, the state's top environmental official defended plans for hydraulic fracturing.
"New York has taken a cautious and deliberate approach to move through this three-year process to develop the strictest standards in the nation," said Joe Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, in a response to "Paul" from Niskayuna.
The back-and-forth was part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's CitizenConnects plan to foster more interactions with the public. Most of the questions posed to Martens did not view hydraulic fracturing in a positive light, as they noted the problems with the practice in other states, and criticized the approval process in New York.
In every instance, Martens argued that New York was proceeding safely and cautiously.
"We are moving forward with the process for studying and mitigating the potential environmental and health impacts of gas drilling in New York state to ensure if high-volume hydraulic fracturing happens in the state, it is done right and safely," he said. "We have put out our proposed requirements and are now looking for the public’s feedback on those requirements. This process should be completed sometime in 2012."
See the entire chat at http://governor.ny.gov/citizenconnects/?q=content/nys-dec-commissioner-joe-martens.
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