Res. No. 1569
Resolution calling upon Governor Cuomo to maintain a moratorium on horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until additional studies have been drafted, reviewed and commented on by the public, and published.
By Council Members Mark Viverito, Barron, Brewer, Chin, James, Lander, Rose and Rodriguez
Whereas, Allowing for the extraction of natural gas through horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing ("hydrofracking") from deep rock structures in New York State is currently under consideration, and a Draft Environmental Impact Statement has been released regarding this issue and a Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision on whether or not to move forward on hydrofracking is expected shortly; and
Whereas, The potential to extract natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a black shale formation that extends deep underground through parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New York, could lead to large-scale and intensive hydrofracking across the region, including across a wide swath of New York State; and
Whereas, Hydrofracking requires injecting large quantities of water, sand, and chemicals into deep wells in order to fracture shale rock, which releases natural gas that can then flow up through the well and thus be captured; and
Whereas, Along with this gas, a tremendous amount of wastewater containing natural pollutants such as salts, radioactive materials, and carcinogens, as well as chemicals used in the hydrofracking process, also flows out of the well; and
Whereas, Hydrofracking wastewater must be disposed of and has the potential to impact human health and the environment; and
Whereas, Additional wastewater remains in the ground and has the potential to move through natural and human-made fractures to underground water supplies, thereby polluting water that is meant to be consumed by humans; and
Whereas, Through faulty wells or other means, natural gas released through hydrofracking can migrate to water supplies, thereby polluting them; and
Whereas, Wells associated with hydrofracking have been shown to cause seismic activity, including small earthquakes; and
Whereas, Hydrofracking is an intensive industrial process that causes noise and air pollution, requires building roads that will carry heavy truck traffic, and leads to other land use issues that will impact areas that are largely rural, thereby altering the very nature of the landscape, quality of life, and the health of humans and the environment in the areas where hydrofracking would take place; and
Whereas, The state, in its Draft Environmental Impact Statement and elsewhere, failed to analyze all of the potential impacts from hydrofracking, and specifically should have conducted a comprehensive human health assessment of the shale gas extraction process; a thorough analysis of all potential negative socioeconomic impacts from hydrofracking; and a thorough analysis of the cumulative impacts from hydrofracking on the environment, including impacts to the rural landscape, water resources, air quality, and greenhouse emissions; and
Whereas, At a minimum such analyses should be undertaken, and the public should be given the opportunity to review and comment on such analyses, prior to any decision to end the moratorium on hydrofracking in New York State; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon Governor Cuomo to maintain a moratorium on horizontal drilling and high volume hydraulic fracturing in New York State until additional studies have been drafted, reviewed and commented on by the public, and published.