A trio of New York state senators are planning a visit to Pennsylvania next week, where they’ll tour one of the state’s most-active counties when it comes to natural-gas drilling.
Sens. David Carlucci, Cecilia Tkaczyk and Bill Perkins are all scheduled to take part in the trip, Carlucci said today. They’ll be in Susquehanna County — south of Binghamton — all day April 26.
The trip is being organized by Citizens for Clean Water, a Pennsylvania-based group vocally opposed to hydrofracking. The senators — all Democrats, though Carlucci belongs to the Independent Democratic Conference — are scheduled to visit gas wells, pipelines, compressor stations and homes nearby.
“I think it’s really important that we drill down to the facts and the science and get emotion out of the debate,” Carlucci said. “That’s why it’s important that we go down there and see it first hand.”
Pennsylvania has had large-scale fracking in its state since 2007, while New York has kept it on hold.
Carlucci, D-Clarkstown, Rockland County, has sponsored a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on hydrofracking, though it would also tie it to the completion of a pair of outside studies.
He said he wants to meet with gas companies in the region, as well.
“It’s really to see it first hand and hopefully share stories with (state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah),” Carlucci said. “Because I believe we are getting down to maybe some of our last chances to make sure that the science and not only the environment but the impact on human health are taken into the equation.”
A decision on whether to allow large-scale fracking in New York currently awaits a report from Shah. There’s no timetable on when Shah’s report will be finished, though he said in January and March it was a “few weeks” away.
(AP File Photo)