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April 23, 2010


Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
Michael Saucier (DEP) (718) 595-6600

Statements of Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway On State's Decision To Require a Separate Environmental Review For Any Drilling in Unfiltered Watersheds

Statement of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

"From the beginning, we said any decisions on drilling in the Marcellus Shale must be based on detailed scientific reviews that specifically take into account the unique nature of the City's unfiltered water supply and assess any potential harm. The City commissioned a study last year to analyze the impacts of hydrofracking in the watershed and found that this technique poses a significant threat to the quality of the water supply that nine million New Yorkers rely on every day. 

"The portions of the Marcellus Shale where the City's watershed lies must be treated differently and the Department of Environmental Conservation's decision today recognizes that crucial fact. We firmly believe, based on the best available science and current industry and technological practices, that drilling cannot be permitted in the City's watershed. We are confident that the additional reviews now required for any drilling proposal in the watershed will lead the State to that same conclusion."

Statement of Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway

"The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's decision that hydraulic fracturing cannot be permitted in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds based on the information we have today recognizes that protecting New York's water supplies must be our top priority. Case-by-case environmental reviews must now be conducted as part of any plan to explore natural gas drilling in these watersheds, a requirement that recognizes the unique characteristics of the 2,000 square miles that support and protect our unfiltered water supply, and the potential danger posed to the watershed by high-volume hydrofracking and horizontal drilling. New York City has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs, including the purchase of more than 100,000 acres of watershed lands, which allow the water supply of nine million New Yorkers to remain unfiltered.

"The additional reviews that DEC has mandated will ensure that the specific and cumulative impacts of hydrofracking and horizontal drilling in the New York City and Syracuse watersheds are understood, and that these unique landscapes are fully protected, as a pre-requisite to any drilling activity.  I want to thank DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis and his staff for their commitment to work with the City to develop protective measures for the watershed and our vital water infrastructure. We look forward to continuing to work with DEC, the New York State Department of Health, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect our most precious natural resource."

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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(718) 595-6600