Assemblyman Brindisi wants Hinckley Reservoir and surrounding areas exempt from hydrofracking

By WKTV News

RUSSIA, N.Y. - Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi says he has sent a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding his concerns about hydraulic fracturing around the Hinckley Reservoir and surrounding areas.

In his letter, Assemblyman Brindisi asked that those areas be exempt from hydrofracking. He also called for an extension of the public comment period on hydrofracking past December 12, 2011.

"The Hinckley Reservoir is the sole source of drinking water for 130,000 residents in Herkimer and Oneida counties," Brindisi said. "If any of the streams or rivers that run into the reservoir became contaminated, it could potentially leave thousands of homes in our region without clean tap water."

In Pennsylvania, scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency performed a study on hydrofracking and reported that not all sewage plants were capable of removing certain drilling waste contaminants from excess water. The study also found that because the plants do not test for radioactivity, there is no way to know if the excess water is contaminated or not, Brindisi added.

Currently, the public has only 90 days to comment on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on hydraulic fracturing in New York. Within this time, the public is expected to read and comment on the 1,500-page SGEIS document along with draft regulations by Dec. 12. Such a contentious issue warrants more time for families to understand the full scope of the potential environmental harm involved in hydrofracking, added Brindisi.

"It is critical that all residents understand the dangerous risks that come into play when this procedure is done so close to reservoirs and waterways," Brindisi said. "I will continue working to help keep our environment and drinking water safe from contamination and harm."

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