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Groups praise Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for making the state’s ban on fracking permanent law as part of the 2020 NYS Budget

Albany - Environmental and public health organizations applauded Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for permanently banning hydraulic fracturing as part of the 2020 NYS Budget. This year, the Governor and both houses of the legislature prioritized the fracking ban: Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblyman Steve Englebright introduced legislation to permanently ban hydraulic and gelled propane fracking, and Governor Cuomo included the hydraulic fracturing ban as part of his executive budget. The final budget addresses both forms of fracking by enshrining the state’s hydraulic fracturing ban into permanent law, and kicking off a process to ultimately ban the dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking. 

"The science on the dangers of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is clear and non-controversial, and agreement to institute a permanent statutory ban is a big victory for public health and the environment," said Senator Jen Metzger. "The bill I introduced in December would have also banned fracking with gelled propane, and while the budget language doesn't quite get us there, it puts us on the right path and would effectively head off any industry stampede for permits to use this destructive process."

Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo said, “While Trump is rolling back environmental regulations, Governor Cuomo, Senator Jen Metzger and the New York State legislature are protecting our water, air, land and public health by enshrining the fracking ban into state law. Thank you to our elected leaders and all the New Yorkers and the Onondaga Nation and Native people who dedicated their time and energy to organizing the anti-fracking movement.”

Sandra Steingraber, PhD, a biologist, author, and co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of NY, said, "Never has the importance of listening to science been clearer. New York State's ban on fracking follows overwhelming scientific evidence that drilling and fracking are disastrous for the environment, climate change, and public health. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature for enshrining the ban on hydraulic fracturing into permanent law and moving toward a ban on the equally dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking. This is a truly momentous achievement."

"With this budget, New York State leads the world in stopping the environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing," said Ramsay Adams, Catskill Mountainkeeper's Executive Director."The historic ban is included today thanks to Governor Cuomo, the State Legislature, and all of the grassroots activists that have worked tirelessly over the years to bring this to fruition."

We know we don’t need to tell you that these are tough times, or that COVID-19 is changing everything about the way we live, work, and play right now. But we want to share a few tips from all of us at Catskill Mountainkeeper about ways to stay happy and healthy as we navigate this crisis together:

  • Care for yourself and for others as you enjoy the Catskills. Being outside and active in fresh air is a great way to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and restore your spirit. We all need the comfort of being out in the natural world right now. Our Catskills region is blessed with beautiful trails and plenty of open space to spread out in, so as long as you maintain the recommended social distance (six-feet, or about one couch-length apart from others), use local trails, and do not add to overcrowding at our most popular trails and trailheads, you can get out there and enjoy the land that sustains us while protecting yourself and others.

  • Eat fresh, local food. Governor Cuomo named farmers markets an “essential service,” so our farmers are doing all they can to get their great food to market. In Sullivan County, the Callicoon Market moved outdoors to Callicoon Creek Park last Sunday (March 22) to give everyone plenty of space, and Mountainkeeper’s Food & Agriculture Advisor, Eugene Thalman of Sprouting Dreams Farm, reports that the relocated outdoor market is already a great success.

Click "Read More" below for resources to guide you to some of the best outdoor spots, rules for hiking and walking safely and responsibly, as well as what you can do to combat invasive species while you’re on the trail. Below that you’ll find additional information about where to find a farmers market near you and some best practices to keep us all healthy while we shop locally. 

Remember--whether you’re on the trail or at the market, keep your distance. Six feet is about the length of a typical, three cushion couch--so stay a couch-length away from the people around you, unless you live with them. And though you’ve heard it a million times already--wash your hands for a full 20 seconds before you go and after you return.

March 13, 2020--As a Catskill Mountainkeeper supporter, you’ve been at the forefront of the movement to protect New York from fracking. Now our state has the opportunity to codify the fracking ban, making it stronger and giving it the force of law. Act now: call on the Senate and Assembly to ban fracking in New York for good.

Thanks to your tireless efforts as well as the work of our State Assembly, Senate, and Governor Cuomo, in 2015 the Governor announced a historic regulatory ban on hydrofracking. This ban has safeguarded our communities from the grave public health and environmental risks associated with fracking that have been documented by more than 1,600 peer-reviewed studies. But now it’s time to protect New Yorkers over the long term by codifying the ban to give it the full force and weight of law, expand its prohibitions to include gelled propane fracking, and protect us from the whims of future governors.


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