In two documents released last October and earlier this month, the Department of Environmental Conservation declared that it “does not…find a significant environmental impact associated with [hydraulic fracturing], which has been in use in New York State for at least 50 years.”
Yet when EWG sent a FOIL request asking the DEC to disclose details of tests of surface and underground waters for contamination by hydraulic fracturing chemicals, department officials responded that “the division of Mineral Resources does not maintain any records which are responsive to your request.” EWG senior analyst Dusty Horwitt placed a follow-up telephone call to a state official, who confirmed that the state had done no testing and had no test results.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation violates the public’s trust when it says that hydrofracing is safe for the environment,” Horwitt said. “New York’s taxpayers and property owners have a right to know exactly what happens when tons of water laced with carcinogens and other toxics are blasted into the earth near their water supplies. Whether out of ignorance or deceit, the DEC’s policy amounts to ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.”