July 17, 2012
Copyright © 2011
Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
Environmentalists say before fracking is allowed, current oil and gas wells need closer inspections
ALBANY – Some 76 percent of the current gas and oil wells in New York go uninspected by the state annually and before Albany considers approving hydrofracking to harvest natural gas from shale formations, it should increase staff and conduct more inspections. That assessment came Tuesday from environmental organization Earthworks’ Oil and Gas Accountability Project.
The group released a report which said New York ranks lower in rate
of inspections that Colorado, New Mexico and Texas and has less stringent
recommended inspection guidelines than some other states. It said few
violators are penalized. The number of inspectors in New York has dramatically
gone down over recent years, Earthworks people said.
Wes Gillingham of Catskill Mountainkeeper echoed those sentiments.“How do you go forward with something when there is already an existing problem with a very, in comparison to horizontal drilling and hydrofracking and how industry wants to move into the area and industrialize the area, you really have to clean up the mess before you allow something else to happen,” he said.
The environmentalists expressed skepticism that the state would put enough
money into the budget to properly monitor new wells to the levels they
say they should be inspected.
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