Hinchey pushes for disclosure of chemicals used in natural gas ‘fracking’
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WASHINGTON – With interest in drilling for natural gas deposits in Marcellus shale formations in Sullivan and Delaware counties and elsewhere in the Catskills and Southern Tier, New York Rep. Maurice Hinchey Thursday said he would introduce legislature calling for disclosure of the chemicals used in the process.
Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is a process of injecting at high pressure chemicals into underground rock formations in order to release natural gas to be captured.
Hinchey and Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette are pushing for disclosure of those chemicals, which they said could include diesel fuel, benzene, industrial solvents and other carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
DeGette said she supports natural gas drilling, but with safeguards. “I don’t think we should be developing those resources at the potential risk to the public, especially to the risk of their drinking water,” she said. “That’s why I think it’s important that we balance the need for energy development with the need for sensible environmental laws.”
Hinchey, too, wants safeguards in place when drilling and fracking. “To make sure that their wells are not contaminated; to make sure that their water reservoirs are not contaminated and that water continues to be safe and secure.”
Both lawmakers testified before a hearing of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Thursday.