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Hinchey: Public Comment Period on Revised, NY Fracking Regulations Should be Extended

September 7, 2011

Washington, DC - Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today released the following statement in support of extending the public comment period for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), which was released today.

"High volume, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas is the most significant environmental issue New York State has faced in a generation, if not longer. Considering the reckless way in which hydraulic fracturing has been carried out in other parts of the country, it is important that we understand all of the environmental and economic impacts that would result if drilling were to move forward in our state. A lot of hard work has gone into this new SGEIS and it has clearly changed dramatically since it was first issued. I look forward to closely reviewing this new document and hearing what my constituents have to say. Given the importance of this issue, I support calls to extend the public comment period."

Hinchey is a leader in the effort to protect drinking water and the environment from the risks of hydraulic fracturing. He is a co-author of the FRAC Act, which would mandate public disclosure of chemicals used in frack fluid and allow the EPA to regulate fracking activities under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The congressman also authored the appropriations language that led to the current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study on hydraulic fracturing. Earlier this year, Hinchey sent letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) questioning the manner in which both bodies have handled shale gas reserve estimates. The SEC has since launched an investigation. The EIA has since made indications that reserve estimates will be revised in the next Annual Energy Outlook.