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EPA POSTPONES SYRACUSE MEETING ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING STUDY, NEW DATES COMING SOON

Release Date: 08/10/2010
Contact Information: 212-637-3660

(NEW YORK, NY) After months of work organizing the New York Hydraulic Fracturing public meetings, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that the Syracuse meeting, originally scheduled for this Thursday, August 12th at the Oncenter Complex Convention Center, has been cancelled. The Agency now intends to hold a new public meeting on the study in upstate New York in September and will announce the location as soon as it is confirmed.

EPA was forced to cancel this meeting following a conversation this morning with the Onondaga County Executive’s office, during which they expressed concerns about the ability to complete preparations for the meeting on such short notice. The last minute change to Syracuse was caused by Binghamton University taking several actions to dissuade EPA from holding the meetings at their campus including increasing the cost from $6,000 to almost $40,000. The Agency also reached out to Broome County officials in Binghamton to hold the meeting at the Arena and they pulled out of negotiations with EPA. The Agency searched a 40 mile radius from Corning to Ithaca to Cortland to Oneonta but no options were available for Thursday. Onondaga County officials did not feel they could arrange the necessary security for the potential protests and rallies outside the meeting itself, and EPA respects and understands their decision.

From the beginning, EPA has been committed to ensuring that the public has an opportunity to express their opinions on the study. There are serious concerns about whether the process of hydraulic fracturing impacts drinking water, human health and the environment. To address those concerns and strengthen our clean energy future, EPA announced in March that it will study the potential adverse impact that hydraulic fracturing may have on drinking water and would be seeking input from people across the country. EPA has held had three successful meetings in Fort Worth, Texas, Denver, Colorado and Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where more than 1,200 participants attended, and the Agency is committed to holding a similar meeting in upstate New York.