I feel very fortunate to alert you to an extremely important development in our three-year Marcellus Shale Gas Campaign. As you will see below, I just released a video as well as extensive documentation of egregious gas and oil regulatory failures by DEC's Division of Mineral Resources based on a review of 25 years of its Annual Reports and other government information.
This new information will put ultra intense political pressure on Governor Cuomo to Withdraw the Marcellus Shale Revised Draft SGEIS. I WRITE TODAY TO ASK YOU TO FOCUS ON THAT REQUEST WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT.
The news release received front-page coverage in Binghamton, Ithaca and Elmira. It also received extensive TV and radio coverage. An AP piece was picked up across the country, notably by The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, Business Week, Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
See news coverage, a video report and extensive DEC and other government documents at: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale
DEC's Deliberately Misled the Public About its Gas and Oil Regulatory Programs
The underlying premise of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement proceeding is DEC’s assertion that: "As a result of New York's rigorous regulatory process, the types of problems reported to have occurred in states without such strong environmental laws and rigorous regulations haven't happened here." That is why an entire new GEIS was not required to safeguard New Yorkers from shale gas fracturing.
In reality, DEC’s self-documented inadequate regulation of gas and oil extraction activities resulted in thousands of unresolved pollution threats to public health and the environment, notably:
a) Extraordinary drinking water contamination problems in the Southern Tier region where gas and oil extraction has been common for decades. In one case involving the Perkins Family in Bolivar, NY, authorities identified 12,971,000 parts per billion of petroleum contamination in their drinking water and traced the pollution to a nearby production well. New York prohibits more than 50 ppb of any toxic pollutant in drinking water. Randy Harms' well in Scio, NY was similarly contaminated with crude oil. Citizens complained for years about their toxic water, but to no avail;
b) DEC permitted dumping of billions of gallons of contaminated gas and oil production brine into pits, ponds, lagoons, streams and onto roads without any treatment to remove toxic metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and radionuclides. Up to hundreds of millions of gallons of produced brine was disposed of annually using these practices, which continue to this day. Brine pits were required to be eliminated 25 years ago, but that has yet to happen.
c) DEC identified more than 4,700 abandoned, unplugged gas and oil wells that pose major pollution hazards. The unplugged wells have been found in residential yards, playgrounds, school grounds, forests, wetlands and in waterways. DEC acknowledged this problem decades ago, but has failed to resolve it. The total expense of plugging these abandoned wells could be tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. Available plugging funds were approximately $200,000.00 in 2009.
Letter to Governor Cuomo
Given these concerns, I wrote to Governor Cuomo to request that he maintain the Marcellus Shale gas fracturing moratorium until all the environmental and public health documented in Mineral Resources Annual Reports are fully resolved. I also requested that he withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS and send it "back to the drawing board."
Contact Governor Cuomo NOW!!!
DEC has utterly failed to enforce safeguards mandated to protect public health and the environment from gas and oil extraction hazards. It also deliberately misled the public about its inadequate regulatory efforts. This is an unprecedented breech of public trust.
I urge you to seize the moment to require Governor Cuomo to Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS and send it "back to the drawing board." He also needs to clean house at DEC or New Yorkers will never be protected from gas and oil extraction hazards.
Email Governor Cuomo like there is no tomorrow: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
Call Governor Cuomo like you never have before:
New York City: 212-681-4580
Twitter the Governor non-stop: @NYGovCuomo
Facebook him day and night: https://www.facebook.com/GovernorAndrewCuomo?sk=wall
I want to thank Ross and Gudrun Scott, who gave me a heads up about the Perkins Family's drinking water problems and brought me to the Whitesfield brine lagoon.
I also wish to thank Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton as well as Elaine and Ben Perkus for all their immense efforts on behalf of safeguarding New Yorkers from shale gas fracturing hazards. I stand in awe of their dedication to the public interest.
Go Hog Wild. It is now or never.
Thank you for all your assistance. We are blessed.
Very gratefully yours,