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Pros and Cons of DEC's New Study


Southern Tier (WENY) - The latest environmental impact statement takes into account both environmental and economic impact. That’s a tough line to walk. Environmentalists say the protections don't go far enough. While business leaders are saying: enough already, lets get this thing moving.

George Miner, STEG President says, “Like I said were going to have to call our nieces and nephews our brothers and sisters and tell them to come home because there's lots of jobs.”

Jobs, that’s the bottom line. Southern Tier communities are sitting on what is known in the gas industry as "the sweet spot", and Southern Tier Economic Growth is getting ready. For the past year, STEG has been evaluating drilling's impacts on roads, businesses and communities.

Miner also says, “I think once they see the economic impact it has on the southern tier that it isn’t ruining the local environment I think that they will be demanding their legislature to allow hydrofracking.”

Opponents suggest the DEC’s study isn't detailed enough and that puts the southern tier at risk. Walter Hang is the president of Toxics Targeting in Ithaca. He says New York’s treatment plants aren't ready for the millions of gallons of wastewater drilling produces.

Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting says, “That’s how Pennsylvania got into this situation where 850,000 people couldn’t drink water from the Monongahela river because these contaminates go into the treatment plant and go right through and into the receiving body of water.”

Hang says, the fact the new report calls for no drilling in watersheds for New York city and Syracuse, proves the process isn't safe, Hang continues, “If it goes forward they provide equal protection for all New Yorkers and right now admittedly they have not done that.”

People on both sides of the issue will have the opportunity to chime in starting next month, when the public comment period begins.