TU applauds NY decision to protect critical water resources from shale gas impacts

Date: 
Wed, 12/17/2014

Dec. 17, 2014

CONTACT:

Katy Dunlap, eastern water project director, kdunlap@tu.org, 607-703-0256

Mark Taylor, eastern communications director, mtaylor@tu.org, 540-353-3556

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Trout Unlimited applauds New York decision to protect critical water resources from shale gas impacts

Washington, D.C.—Today New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will prohibit the practice of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for unconventional shale gas development. A legally binding decision formalizing the announcement will be released in early 2015.

Permits for high-volume fracking have been on hold for six years while New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health have reviewed the environmental and health impacts associated with the practice. New York’s 2011 environmental review proposed restrictions to protect water resources and public lands, ultimately making 63 percent of the Marcellus Shale extent in the state unavailable for unconventional shale-gas development. That factor, combined with economic and health considerations, led agency experts to today’s decision.

Trout Unlimited has long called for New York to protect its critical water resources and the public lands where sportsmen and women hunt and fish. This fall, TU launched a "10 Special Places campaign," which takes a deeper look into iconic public fishing and hunting destinations in the East, outlining the potential risks posed by gas drilling operations and providing recommendations from sportsmen and women that promote responsible energy development. The Catskills, the Upper Delaware River watershed and Allegany State Park in New York are among the 10 Special Places.

“Today’s decision provides necessary protections for trout streams throughout the state and ensures that world-class fishing opportunities will be available for future generations,” said Katy Dunlap, eastern water project director for Trout Unlimited. “As we have seen in other states where shale gas is being developed, without proper regulations and protections, water quality in streams can be affected and ultimately impact trout and their habitat. ”

New York has thousands of miles of streams and rivers within its Marcellus Shale region. More than 1.8 million anglers fish New York’s waterways, generating more than $2.1 billion in economic revenue for local businesses each year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Places such as the Catskills, birthplace of the sport of fly-fishing in America, as well as other native and wild trout streams across the Southern Tier, will now be protected from potential impacts from shale gas development,” said Ron Urban, Chair of the New York State Council of Trout Unlimited. “The Catskills are also my home, and it’s comforting to know that the streams in my backyard are protected.”

Trout Unlimited promotes responsible energy development and, in collaboration with others, seeks to ensure that all reasonable efforts are made to avoid or mitigate the impacts such development may have on important coldwater resources.

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with 155,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. New York Trout Unlimited has 7,500 members across the state. Follow TU on Facebook and Twitter, and visit us online at tu.org

 

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