I write to request your urgent, immediate and unrelenting help to persuade Governor Cuomo to withdraw New York's Marcellus Shale Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
Our collective efforts in the weeks to come could very well determine the environmental fate of the Catskills, the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier and the source of drinking water for 90% of New York City residents.
Toxics Targeting just released extensive new information that refutes the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) assertion that New York has never experienced a single horizontal drilling or hydrofracturing pollution problem. We also documented DEC's on-going failure to clean up hundreds of reported natural gas and oil incidents.
This information leaves no doubt that DEC is woefully unable to protect New York from natural gas extraction hazards.
The Ferrugia's water contamination problem
For example, Dave Ferrugia and his wife live near Jamestown, NY and have not been able to drink their well water since 2007 after a gas well was drilled approximately 300 feet from their home. Their water is so contaminated that a local veterinarian told them not to allow their dogs to drink the water either.
Their water well contamination was confirmed by "before" and "after" testing conducted by the gas drilling firm. According to the Chautauqua County Health Department: "This is a well documented case showing drinking water impacts that are seemingly related to gas well development."
Local health authorities appealed to DEC's Division of Mineral Resources to help the Ferrugias. DEC refused to investigate their problem or to provide them with safe drinking water.
See a video of Mr. Ferrugia along with the above-referenced health department and DEC documents at: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/node/7084
Governor Cuomo has made lofty statements about considering watersheds "sacrosanct" and adopting new gas drilling safeguards based on "good science." DEC Commissioner Martens promised that Marcellus Shale hydrofracturing will be done "safely."
In reality, DEC routinely fails to enforce existing gas drilling requirements and has no meaningful plan to fulfill Executive Order No. 41's mandate that Marcellus Shale environmental impacts will be "avoided or mitigated." In short, the RD SGEIS is a sham that cannot protect public health.
Sign the Coalition Letter to Withdraw the RD SGEIS
Please sign a new coalition letter requesting that Governor Cuomo immediately withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS because it suffers from at least 17 critical shortcomings that must be fully resolved before a Final SGEIS is adopted.
Until that is achieved, the current Marcellus Shale de facto moratorium must not be lifted.
See the letter as well as detailed documentation links at: http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/cuomo/coalition_letter/2011
Take Immediate Action Today. Don't Stop Till You Drop
During the fall of 2009, more than 6,000 citizens, elected officials and environmental groups signed a coalition letter calling for DEC's original draft SGEIS to be withdrawn. That tsunami of grassroots pressure prevented DEC from adopting a Final SGEIS. That is why not one Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofractured well has been drilled in New York.
It is imperative that we replicate that effort in the weeks to come. I implore you to do all you can to help. Beat the bushes for signatories.
It is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Sign the Coalition letter requesting that Governor Cuomo immediately withdraw the RD SGEIS because it fails to fulfill Executive Order No. 41 and has 17 major inadequacies identified by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and many others.
The coalition letter is excruciatingly detailed. Read it and you will become a walking encyclopedia of RD SGEIS shortcomings.
2. Email Governor Cuomo: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
3. Call Governor Cuomo:
New York City: 212-681-4580
Thank you so much for your help. Onward and upward.