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Comptroller calls for fracking cleanup fund

Matt Richmond
Public commenting on proposed hydrofracking regulations closes January 11. NY Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's letter to the DEC is one of about 16,000 comments received so far.

In a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation last week, state comptroller Tom DiNapoli renewed his call for a drilling fee to pay for any accidents caused by natural gas drilling.

The fee would go into a Natural Gas Damage Recovery Fund. DiNapoli says having the fund in place before drilling begins would allow a quick response to an accident.

“So that where you would have an accident or some kind of incident, especially where you have a situation where there’s not a clear responsible party, the Department of Environmental Conservation can move quickly,” he says.

Accidents would be followed by investigations and the attorney general would seek reimbursement from the company at fault.

“It really seems to make sense that we provide this level of protection because no matter how strong regulations are or how mindful industry is, accidents do happen,” he says.

DiNapoli also submitted legislation to the state assembly that would establish the cleanup fund.

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