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Elected Officials in Sullivan County Call on Governor Cuomo to Protect New Yorkers from Fracking

October 10, 2012

As Governor Cuomo nears a decision on drilling, 15 lawmakers from Sullivan County join with over 420 elected officials across the state in asking the governor why concerns from local officials from 50 counties have not been answered or addressed.

Monticello – This week, 15 elected officials from Sullivan County called on Governor Cuomo to protect New Yorkers by keeping in place the state’s moratorium on high volume fracking.

The 15 leaders join the more than 420 other local elected officials from 50 counties all across the state who have signed a letter to Governor Cuomo that reads in part: “ As elected officials from across New York State, we share with you the responsibility to protect the health and safety of our people across our state. Although the geographic area where drilling may occur may be limited, the impacts will be felt across the state. Until the facts and the science prove that horizontal hydraulic fracturing is safe, New York’s de facto moratorium must remain in place.”

The Governor is considering allowing fracking in some parts of the state although the Department of Environmental Conservation has not fully studied the health, environmental, and economic impacts associated with the process. Sullivan County Legislator Cindy Kurpil Gieger said, “Pumping millions of gallons of poisonous fluid into the ground is inherently dangerous. It does not make sense to permit this activity without first examining the impact it will have on our drinking water supplies and our health.”

The officials are also seeking a revised and thorough study of the socioeconomic impacts shale gas extraction will have on our communities. Dan Sturm is Supervisor of the Town of Bethel, site of the original Woodstock Festival and home to Bethel Woods performing arts center, has said, “Tourism is one of the lifebloods of the Sullivan County economy. If dangerous and polluting industrial activity drives away tourists, our economy will be devastated.”
Bethel is one of five Sullivan County towns that have passed ordinances to prohibit fracking. Lumberland Supervisor Nadia Rajsz expressed concern that drilling activity could saddle local municipalities with the cost of paying for road and bridge repair and enhanced first responder capabilities.