Executive Fiala Delivers Statement at EPA Public Meeting

Below is the verbatim statement issued at Monday’s afternoon session

Thank you very much for this opportunity. And thank you for bringing this event to Greater Binghamton and specifically to Broome County’s beautiful Forum Theater.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to talk about this study and its impact on the general progress of natural gas development in New York State and nationwide for that matter. I think this is a perfect opportunity to clarify some facts. Our County Attorney, who has spent a great deal of time on this issue will speak shortly and provide some additional input on our recommendations for this study.
I and my administration believe hydraulic fracturing is safe. We have listened to the geologists and the scientists and the experts in this field. And we are confident that with the proper supervision and regulations in place, we can develop this new industry in our region, do it safely and create new investments and new jobs.
All that we ask is that this study be focused, and not take forever to complete.
I work in government so I can speak from experience. Things seem to take a little longer in government to finalize. Let me be clear, we are not asking you to rush anything! We are simply asking that this study get underway and get the information it needs and it be completed in a timely manner.
Before wrapping up I also wanted to clarify our position on the debate regarding the disclosure of information on frac fluids. The composition of frac fluid is an issue of long term public health and emergency response.   Simply stated, the composition should be disclosed whether or not Congress passes the FRAC Act.
Many companies have already done this. NYS DEC already requires disclosure.   My administration supports disclosure. I urge EPA not to become bogged down in an issue that is already being resolved. I would just like to reiterate that we hope this study is done in a timely manner. 
The natural gas industry started in NY. It is an established industry, regulated by the DEC, and adds value to our economy. It is our hope the EPA is not going to study the entire natural gas development cycle. Otherwise, the study will lack focus; it will not be timely; and EPA will infringe on the rights of the states to regulate this industry.
Before wrapping up I also wanted to recognize everyone who has taken the time to be here today or has signed up for one of the other sessions to voice their opinions.
This is probably one of the most important issues that will ever be before us. Civic engagement is crucial and again I just want to say thank you to everyone on both sides of this issue who are exercising their right to be heard.
Thank you again for this opportunity.


09/13/2010 - 3:22pm