Assemblyman says White Plains oil spill reminds us of the need to protect our Environment for future generations

Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C, I – Goldens Bridge ) today applauded the advancement of Assembly Bill A10490A from the Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee. Castelli is a co-sponsor of the legislation, which places a moratorium on conducting hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas or oil in New York State .


“Environmentally conscientious citizens in the Westchester area are already on alert today after an environmental disaster in White Plains that went undetected for hours as hundreds of gallons of oil leaked into the Bronx River from a White Plains Apartment building,” Castelli said. “This tragic incident, and the current oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf clearly illustrate the need for prudence when extracting oil and gas.”


The moratorium will remain in place until 120 days after federal Environmental Protection Agency issues a report on the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water quality and public health.


Castelli believes the bill will give both State and Federal agencies more time to thoroughly examine the mining technique and determine its potential impact on the state’s natural resources.


“A hydro-fracking disaster of similar proportions to the tragedy in the Gulf occurring in the New York City Watershed region has the potential to destroy Westchester ’s fresh water supply permanently,” Castelli said. “This legislation will give the EPA the time it needs to fully review the hydro-fracturing techniques to determine whether or not this type of mining should be permitted in New York State .”


Hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracking is a mining technique that is used to drill for natural gas. Many people are concerned that the chemicals used during the drilling process could contaminate the downstate water supply.

Earlier this year, Assemblyman Castelli hosted a public hearing at the Katonah Village Library to discuss the proposed hydrofracking project for drilling natural gas in the Marcellus Shale Region of Upstate New York.


Representatives from Chesapeake Energy, the gas drilling company that holds rights to the Marcellus Shale; Damascus Citizens, a grassroots environmental group protesting hydrofracking of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania ; Sierra Club members and concerned citizens attended the event to voice their concerns on the subject.