There is very good news, tempered, on the threat of high volume industrial gas drilling (aka hydrofracking or unconventional gas extraction) in the Skaneateles Lake watershed. Before December of 2014, the last statement we had from the Department of Environmental Conservation was that the watershed was to be exempted from hydrofracking, though only for the first 24 months should permits have been issued in New York State..
In December of 2014 the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Health finished a review of the current and emerging science regarding water, air and soil contamination linked to hydrofracking, taking into account the entire lifecycle of unconventional gas extraction and threats to public health.
The findings resulted in a prohibition of high volume hydrofracking statewide at this time. So now, for the moment, we are free from the immediate threat of industrial gas extraction throughout NY State. Very good news indeed.
However – the temper. We need to be aware and remain vigilant of the threat of industrial fossil fuel build-out affecting the Skaneateles Lake watershed, Finger Lakes region and the entire state. There currently exists a web of infrastructure in the Finger Lakes area for transport, disposal and export of fracked oil, gas and waste. That web of infrastructure could grow statewide. So no fracking at this time in NY is great news. However, we must continue to be aware any expansion that poses a threat to our watershed and our water and be a voice for insuring the safety and protection of both.
For an interactive map showing infrastructure projects from unconventional oil and gas extraction statewide, with links to specific projects, visit Sane Energy’s YAH – You Are Here – map.