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Open letter to Department of Environmental Conservation

December 15, 2011

I’ve read your 1,500-page dSGEIS document on how you intend to allow high volume hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) for natural gas in our state. I offer the following for your consideration.

I couldn’t find anything in the document requiring compensation for people who might experience damage to their property, drinking water contamination or adverse health affects from hydrofracking.

If you’re going to do this, it needs to pay for itself; I’m not young enough anymore to believe you can responsibly undertake something like this without requiring complete and prompt indemnification for people who might be affected.

I don’t know what price you place on the health of a man’s family, but I did call Allstate, State Farm and Nationwide insurance companies, to see if any of them offer a measure of protection for it and the other concerns mentioned above. They don’t.

I know you understand the necessity of shielding yourselves from liability, but I’m confused about whether you believe the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) website poses one greater for yourselves than hydrofracking does for the rest of us.

That’s because the level of protection you’ve reserved for yourselves, against website-related damages, you’ve yet to secure against hydrofracking for those you’ve sworn to serve. It goes like this:

“In no event shall the State of New York, its agencies or authorities, employees, officers or agents be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this web site, or for any information, software, products, services, or graphics obtained through this web site, or otherwise arising out of the use of this web site, whether based on contract, tort, strict liability, or otherwise, even if the state of New York, its agencies or authorities, employees, officers or agents have been advised of the possibility of damages.”

Dave Colavito
Rock Hill, NY