We’re back with regular round-ups of opinion content after last a respite last week.
Here’s a glance at editorials and commentaries we published over the weekend:
Sunday, December 4
We comment on the ongoing review of whether or not hydraulic fracturing of New York’s Marcellus shale, through which the extraction of natural gas reserves could be a boon to struggling upstate communities. A public comment period on the review ends Jan. 11. We write:
… Officials of the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental watchdog group, highlight numerous flaws in New York’s draft regulations — a report nearly three times as long as “War and Peace.” Shortfalls include a lack of analysis of “significant health and environmental harms”; insufficient setbacks to protect water bodies, homes, aquifers and wells from drilling; inadequate protection for watersheds and aquifers — a theme highlighted at the Wednesday hearing; and inadequate rule-making by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The NRDC officials — acknowledged experts on the concerns confronting state regulators — expect to raise additional concerns with the DEC, addressing air quality, engineering, surface and subsurface water quality, and other matters. The DEC officials must also consider nearly 10,000 new written comments, on top of 13,000 comments submitted earlier, and remarks from 600 hearing speakers — from among 6,000 people who attended hearings. And there could be plenty more feedback before the state closes off public comment Jan. 11; the original deadline was Dec. 12. As forthcoming as the public has been on fracking, the DEC officials should be no less generous with answers that address New Yorkers’ justified concern.
Tappan Zee Bridge: Reisman
Phil Reisman reminisces about the contributions made by Gov. Malcolm Wilson, a Yonkers Republican for whom the Tappan Zee Bridge is named.
Monday, December 5
Tappan Zee Bridge: Community View
Kate Slevin, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, a regional policy watchdog organization, comments on the plans for a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge and the critical need for a mass-transportatoin component.