The head of a statewide landowners group said the state’s soon-to-be-missed deadline for finalizing its hydrofracking regulations is an “insult” to taxpayers.
Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo today after the governor revealed the state will miss the Nov. 29 deadline.
“Delay beyond the November 29, 2012 despite having considered over 80,000 comments, is a breach of faith in our government and flies in the face of the promise that New York is beyond its dysfunction and truly open for new business investment,” Fitzsimmons wrote. “We urge you to be guided by the important existing science and evidence captured by the experts within your agencies and to proceed without further delay.”
The state Department of Environmental Conservation must finalize its regulations before Nov. 29 to avoid having to reopen them to public comment. But the Department of Health just named a panel of outside health experts last week that has been charged with reviewing the proposals by mid-February.
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of hydrofracking opponents, was pleased with Cuomo’s comments.
“We are glad the Governor wants to ‘do this right,’” Sandra Steingraber, a representative for the group, said in a statement. “People throughout New York do not want to be poisoned by fracking. We are confident that a thorough, independent review of the health impacts of fracking will show it can’t be done safely.”
Here’s Fitzsimmons’ letter: