I am pleased to note that almost three years ago to this very day, I first began to publicize DEC's botched regulation of gas and oil extraction activities using the agency's own records. Thank you for all your help with that effort.
When Marcellus Shale gas fracking was originally proposed, DEC asserted 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.”
DEC's factually incorrect and misleading claim was its rationale for only requiring a limited-scope Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) instead of an entirely new GEIS.
During our fledgling campaign's first year, citizens worked insanely hard to withdraw the draft SGEIS. We organized the active support of 10,450 coalition letter signatories, participated in hundreds of events, generated huge press coverage and played a critical role in miraculously adopting Executive Order No. 41, which requires DEC's draft SGEIS to be revised.
During the last two years, we repeatedly documented DEC's regulatory shortcomings and systematically prevented adoption of an inadequate and incomplete Final SGEIS. Our Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS coalition letter now has more than 22,600+ signatories.
As a result, New York's shale gas moratorium remains steady as a rock against seemingly insurmountable odds. Not one horizontal shale gas well has ever been fracked in New York. That unprecedented grassroots achievement is simply mind-boggling. I offer you my congratulations and commend your efforts.
Our campaign continues to crank up the pressure on Governor Cuomo to send the Revised Draft SGEIS "back to the drawing board." I write today to alert you about the release of new maps and data that reveal 5,046 unplugged and abandoned wells in 38 New York counties.
Unplugged and abandoned gas, oil and other wells are reportedly located shockingly close to thousands of residential homes, directly over drinking water aquifers, in wetlands, near geologic faults and adjoining critically important waterbodies, including Southern Cayuga Lake near the Bolton Point water intake that supplies 30,000 local residents.
For the second time in a month, we generated multiple front-page banner headline articles as well as TV and radio coverage in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale
Use Toxics Targeting's interactive web map to search for unplugged wells (brown circle) near any address in New York's Marcellus Shale formation: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/interactive_map
Check out the overview map and DEC's entire unplugged and abandoned wells database at: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/documents/2012/10/26/dec-w...
Please contact me if you can document leaking well hazards in your community. I plan to write each and every Town Supervisor in New York State with unplugged gas and oil wells in their jurisdiction.
See my letter to Governor Cuomo about this long-standing problem: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/documents/letters/2012/10/...
Once again, many thanks to Binghamton's most honorable Mayor Matt Ryan, Dr. Ben Perkus of NYRAD (New York Residents Against Drilling) and Sue Rapp of VeRSE (Vestal Residents for Safe Energy) for participating in the news release. Their dedication, eloquence and willingness to make personal sacrifices on behalf of the public interest is profoundly humbling and inspiring.
Until all unplugged and abandoned gas and oil well hazards in New York have been cleaned up, it would be irresponsible of Governor Cuomo to permit shale gas fracking, even on a limited basis. The Revised Draft SGEIS must be withdrawn because it provides no meaningful plan to remediate 5,000+ unplugged wells.
Email Governor Cuomo: http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php
Call Governor Cuomo:
New York City: 212-681-4580
Twitter the Governor: @NYGovCuomo
Facebook him: https://www.facebook.com/GovernorAndrewCuomo?sk=wall
Shale gas activists should take urgent action until election day. Getting out the vote could make a crucial difference in key races. Candidates who have taken strong positions on safeguarding New Yorkers from fracking hazards include Dan Lamb and Nate Shinagawa.
DEC might restart its shale gas regulatory rulemaking effort because an 11/29/12 deadline could be missed as Health Commissioner Nirav Shah reviews public health data compiled for the Revised Draft SGEIS. As a result, a new public comment period might be required. See: http://statepolitics.lohudblogs.com/2012/09/28/state-anticipates-missing...
I wrote Governor Cuomo to say that the proposed review is fundamentally inadequate due to a paucity of available shale gas environmental pollution data. I requested that the SGEIS be restarted to allow public comment on how to expand the scope of that proceeding to address public health and environmental concerns.
Note that New York's shale gas moratorium is tied to the SGEIS proceeding, not the rulemaking effort .
A legal decision recently struck down Binghamton's gas drilling moratorium. This decision proves how tricky shale gas legal matters can be.
We are not out of the woods yet. Keep slugging.
Thanks, again, for all your help.
Very gratefully yours,