Statement by Speaker Christine C. Quinn:

“The Department of Environmental Conservation’s recommendation to prohibit hydraulic fracturing in the New York City watershed is an important step in guaranteeing the continued safety of our drinking water. The regulations being proposed are sound suggestions that are mindful of both the environmental, as well as economic, needs of our great state. The DEC’s regulations will ensure surface drilling will not interfere with New York City’s water supply.

Prohibiting hydrofracking in the New York City water supply area is a clear reversal of the prior recommendations from the State, and I commend the Governor and State DEC for this new approach. The concerns of the public about the impact of drilling on drinking water have been heard.”

Statement by Environmental Protection Committee Chair Council Member James F. Gennaro:

“For more than three years, the New York City Council has dedicated extraordinary resources to advocate for protecting New York City’s invaluable and irreplaceable drinking water supply watershed from degradation by high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The Council’s work on this issue has drawn national attention and has been featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland and in the national media.

Based on the preliminary statement issued today by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), it appears that the advocacy of the Council and others has succeeded. The Council is pleased that the State, under Gov. Cuomo’s leadership, will propose to ban hydrofracking within the New York City drinking water supply watershed. This is terrific news.

While the Council believes that it is also imperative that critical water supply infrastructure such as water tunnels and aqueducts that are outside the watershed but feed New York City be protected as well, the Council would expect these protections to be included in the DSGEIS soon to be released.

The Council looks forward to working with Governor Cuomo and the DEC as this process continues. We once again thank Gov. Coumo for the new direction he has taken with respect to permanently protecting New York City’s watershed and critical watershed infrastructure from high-volume hydraulic fracturing.”