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Unprecedented turnout at fracking hearings

6,000 attend, more than 1,250 comments received

December 14, 2011
Westfield Republican
ALBANY — Recently in New York City, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation held its fourth and final public hearing on the agency’s draft SGEIS, draft regulations and draft stormwater permit for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Previous hearings were held in Dansville, Binghamton and Loch Sheldrake.

In total, approximately 6,000 people attended the hearings, which each had an afternoon and evening session, and approximately 590 people gave verbal comments. An additional 669 written comments were also submitted at the hearings.

“The turnout of 6,000 people at the hearings demonstrates how strongly New Yorkers feel about this important issue,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “Nearly 600 individuals took the time to voice their opinions, which ranged from urging an outright ban to urging drilling to occur now. Public input on the draft environment impact statement is an important and insightful part of developing responsible conditions for this activity as well as determining whether it can be safely conducted. Public comment on the 2009 draft helped DEC greatly improve its proposal which we released earlier this summer.

“I appreciate the public’s unprecedented attendance and attention to this issue,” he said. “The comments made at the hearings will be seriously considered as we move forward with developing the final rules and conditions. In addition, all comments will be responded to in responsive summaries included in the final documents. I encourage New Yorkers to continue to read the documents and submit their feedback to DEC before the comment period ends on Jan. 11.”

Comments can be submitted online at or by mail to Attn: dSGEIS Comments, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-6510


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