The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Renee Cho, Riverkeeper 914-478-4501 x 239

Riverkeeper Attorney to Testify at Emergency Public Hearing on Natural Gas Drilling Within NYC Watershed


On September 10, Riverkeeper attorney Jay Simpson will testify before the New York City Council Environmental Protection Committee's emergency public hearing on natural gas drilling within the NYC Watershed. Riverkeeper applauds New York State's decision to conduct a supplemental review of gas drilling's environmental impacts throughout New York State; however the NYC Watershed, as the source of drinking water for half the state's population, is the state's greatest natural resource and warrants special protection. Riverkeeper welcomes the City Council's attention to this issue and encourages the public to participate.

Robert Goldstein, Riverkeeper's General Counsel, stated, "This hearing is critical so that the public can learn about the potential impacts of natural gas drilling on the NYC Watershed. We still have much to learn about the gas drilling process called hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking"- the jury is still out on it. But we know for certain that the disruptive surface activity that would accompany any drilling process in the watershed would irreparably damage our precious unfiltered drinking water supply."

James L. Simpson, Staff Attorney with Riverkeeper's Watershed Program, said, "We encourage consumers of New York City's award winning tap water to participate in this important hearing. As we transform our energy policy, it is critical that we not trample upon critical natural resources."

The City Council's Environmental Protection Committee emergency hearing on gas drilling will be held at 1pm on Wednesday, September 10 at 250 Broadway, 14th Floor in New York City. The public is invited to attend. Anyone may also submit testimony to the hearing by emailing

Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River from source to sea and safeguards drinking water supplies, through advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science and law.