FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2010
STATEMENT OF MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ON U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY STUDY ON IMPACT OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING ON WATER SUPPLIES
"Today's decision by the EPA to investigate the impact on water supplies of using hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas is a positive step toward protecting our local water quality. The Marcellus Shale, a natural gas source, is found throughout New York State, and drilling in the shale - through hydraulic fracturing - is currently being considered by the State.
"There is much that we don't know about the process, including the properties of the chemicals that would be injected into the ground. And there is a growing body of evidence from other states suggesting that this method - which pumps millions of gallons of pressurized water and chemicals into the ground - can pollute local water sources. Because we always base our decisions on data and the best science available, the City commissioned its own study last year to analyze the process. We found that the impact of this specific type of drilling in our watershed could threaten the quality of the City's water supply because of the potential for chemical contamination. Further, the City could be forced to build a currently unneeded filtration plant that would cost taxpayers $10 billion or more due to the potential contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.
"Since each area facing the prospect of drilling is unique, we fully expect that the EPA will examine the risks of using this technology in a variety of settings, including the impact on areas that rely on unfiltered water - like New York City. From our perspective, drilling in areas that supply more than 1 billion gallons of drinking water a day for more than 9 million New Yorkers is simply a chance we cannot take."
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958