Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fate of 200,000 fracking comments unclear

9:18 PM, Jul 12, 2013 
Written by
Jon Campbell
Albany Bureau
ALBANY — New York's proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing drew an unprecedented response in January, when more than 200,000 comments were submitted by the public to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Seven months later, the fate of those comments is unknown, with the DEC refusing to say whether it will respond to the concerns raised in the submissions or allow them to sit unanswered.
"We know a vast majority of those comments expressed clear opposition to fracking, but we don't know if the DEC has read them or catalogued them or simply thrown them away," said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast director for Food & Water Watch, an advocacy group opposed to hydrofracking. "It's absurd that we don't know."
The DEC ignored a series of inquiries over the past week from Gannett's Albany Bureau about the comments, which were submitted by the boxful in mid-January by a coalition of fracking opponents.
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