H2Ohhhhh, No You Don’t!

Jessica Lee Nov 20, 2009

WATER DEFENSE: Hundreds rally at a natural gas drilling hearing in Lower Manhattan Nov. 10. PHOTO: JAISAL NOOR

Several hundred New Yorkers attended the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC ) hearing Nov. 10 at Stuyvesant High School in Lower Manhattan to protest the state’s plan to allow natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale geologic formation. Permits would be issued to companies using controversial hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques near drinking water sources, such as the Catskill Mountains north of the city. The DEC recently announced an extension for public comments to the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement from Nov. 30 until Dec. 31.

On Nov. 16, the New York City Council passed a non-binding resolution (Res. 1850) requesting that state policy makers ban the drilling practice within the New York City drinking water watershed. “We can’t sell off our water supplies for some short-term financial gain,” said Councilmember James Gennaro (D-Queens). Councilmember Tony Avella (D-Queens) proposed another resolution (Res. 2191) that would call for a statewide drilling ban.

To file a comment online, visit

For more information see “Drilling Deep Into Controversy” by Jessica Lee and “The Boom” by Arun Gupta.