Actor Mark Ruffalo releases video to raise awareness of "fracking"

What happens in New York doesn’t stay in New York.

That is why Oscar-nominee Mark Ruffalo and a group of actors and activists are seeking to position New York as the anti-fracking example of the United States.

The film star took a break from filming his new movie "The Avengers" to discuss the importance of supporting legislation that will prohibit “fracking” from taking place in the Empire State and will include the practice under “hazardous waste” laws.

As a part of an ongoing partnership with Clean Water Not Dirty Drilling, Ruffalo, along with fellow celebrity New York residents Zoë Saldana, Nadia Dajani, Josh Charles, Ethan Hawke, and Amy Ryan, released a public service announcement on June 6 to raise awareness about fracking.

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is a process in which sand, water and chemicals are injected into the ground to release valuable natural gas reserves.

Environmental groups and some policymakers have bashed the practice, raising concerns about potential drinking water contamination and environmental damage.

Ruffalo, in a conference call with reporters on Monday, explained that as he looked deeper into the issue in places like Pennsylvania he saw “ugly things” -- like how the walls of some Pennsylvania residences exploded, and water became contaminated to the point where people couldn’t drink tap water or take showers.

“If I’m a man of conscience and I am who I say that I am, then I have to get involved,” Ruffalo explained.

The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a study on the practice but that isn’t expected to be completed until 2012.

Democrats in both the House and Senate are pushing legislation that would give the agency the authority to regulate "fracking" under the Safe Drinking Water Act. But the bill faces opposition from Republicans, who argue that fracking should be regulated at the state level.

-- Andrew Restuccia contributed