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Celebrities Call on Lawmakers to Protect New York Tap Water from Fracking
Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke and friends release ad with environmental groups

NEW YORK (June 8, 2011) -- A group of New York-based actors have teamed up with a coalition of environmental organizations for a new online video that calls for lawmakers to protect the state’s world-class drinking water from a risky method of natural gas drilling called fracking.

“My family moved to our quiet farming town on the Delaware River so we could enjoy a simple, healthy life outside of the bustling city,” said actor Mark Ruffalo. “We want to enjoy that peace down the road, and know that the tap water we drink, and bathe our children in, is safe.”

In the new video, Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, Amy Ryan, Zoë Saldana, Josh Charles and Nadia Dajani show viewers how much they “love their New York water” by inviting them along as they go fly-fishing, make tea, and even bathe with it.

Watch it here: www.cleanwaternotdirtydrilling.org.

“My friends in the city share our fears,” said Ruffalo. “They know that New York City’s world-class drinking water could be poisoned and forever destroyed if fracking moves in.”

The actors teamed up with Clean Water NOT Dirty Drilling, a coalition of environmental groups,  for the ad, which calls on New York state lawmakers to protect New York’s water from the harmful effects of fracking – also known as hydraulic fracturing.

“The consequences of drilling for natural gas are severe and are already being witnessed in states across the nation,” says Catskill Mountainkeeper Executive Director, Ramsay Adams. “It is imperative for New Yorkers to take a stand to prevent gas companies from mobilizing in our state to utilize the same practices that have devastated the water supplies in other areas, including right next door in Pennsylvania.”

New York state is home to the largest unfiltered reservoir in the country, providing drinking water for more than 15 million people statewide, including all of New York City. It also sends fresh water to millions of residents in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

“New Yorkers don’t want to have to worry if their water is poisonous when they turn on their taps,” said Kate Sinding, Deputy Director of the New York Urban Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Governor Cuomo has a chance to get it right here. New York can show the rest of the nation how to keep their water and their residents safe from fracking gone wrong.”

Fracking has been proposed in New York, and the state is currently considering whether to allow it to proceed. Where fracking has occurred around the country, residents have reported water contamination and various other economic, health and environmental concerns.

“Our water is a precious and irreplaceable resource,” said Susan Zimet, Ulster County Legislator and CEO of Zimet Group, executive producer of the video. “It’s imperative that we start treating it as such.”

‘Clean Water NOT Dirty Drilling’ is a coalition of organizations working to protect communities and the environment from the dangers of natural gas development. The coalition consists of Catskill Mountainkeeper, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Earthjustice, EARTHWORKS, Environmental Advocates of New York, Natural Resources Defense Council and Riverkeeper.

For more information, visit the coalition’s website at www.cleanwaternotdirtydrilling.org.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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