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gaswell_120Albany, NY – Several State Senators and Assembly Members, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) and New Yorkers Against Fracking called on Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens Wednesday to disown the work done by Ecology & Environment, Inc. on the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) and scrap the SGEIS due to the company’s conflict of interest.  Ecology & Environment was responsible for significant parts of the SGEIS.  It recently came to light that Ecology & Environment, Inc. (E&E) is a member of the Independent Oil and Gas Association (IOGA), which is actively engaging in lobbying on fracking.

“Regardless of this firm’s expertise on purely technical matters unrelated to policy formulation, Ecology and Environment’s participation in a trade association and lobbying effort in support of authorizing high volume hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') in New York fundamentally disqualifies the firm and its work for the Revised Draft SGEIS,” said NYPIRG Legislative Counsel Russ Haven.  NYPIRG sent a letter to Governor Cuomo today urging him to scrap the SGEIS.

"We have seen the disastrous consequences of hydrofracking in other states, with tainted water supplies and whole towns and regions blighted. If we rush into this with potentially biased data and risk assessments, we risk the same tragic results," said Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan). "Prudence demands we start over with scrupulously transparent and independent examinations of all the dangers, including full seismology and health studies and a full assessment of the risks to our vital upstate agricultural industry. The process so far hasn't measured up."

“I don’t know if Ecology & Environment’s report on the economic impact of fracking is biased or not, and that is the problem,” said Senator Gipson.  “To make such an important decision on fracking, the environment and economy we need truly independent information.”

“The more we dig into the SGEIS, the fishier it gets,” said Julia Walsh, a spokesperson for New Yorkers Against Fracking.  “At least one other company that has worked on the SGEIS is also affiliated with IOGA.  The Governor and Commissioner Martens should re-do the SGEIS with a truly independent examination, rather than rely on companies that are involved in organizations that lobby on the issue.”

In 24 hours alone, more than 3,000 New Yorkers have sent individual emails to Governor Cuomo and signed a petition that concludes “Governor Cuomo, New Yorkers deserve better. Throw out this industry-biased economic study, seismology study and the SGEIS. Conduct a new, truly independent study that regains the public’s trust and ensures science and facts drive your decision.” New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered those signatures and comments to Governor Cuomo’s office.

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