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EPA, State, & Other Marcellus Shale Documents

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Introduction

Toxics Targeting, Inc. is pleased to make publicly available U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) documents as well as state government data related to an Autumn 2008 incident when 850,000 residents near Pittsburgh, PA could not drink water drawn from the Monongahela River due to high levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) reportedly associated with inadequately treated discharges of natural gas drilling wastewater.

The scale of this drinking water crisis was unprecedented in American history.

Other documents involve toxics reported in natural gas drilling wastewater and EPA’s internal and final comments regarding New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Marcellus Shale draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (draft SGEIS).

Please note the following excerpt from Attachment D:

Regional Administrator Briefing
Preliminary Discussion of NYS DEC Marcellus Shales (stet) draft SGEIS
December 4, 2009

Page 2:

Public Policy Issues – Suggested Positions for RA review

1) Region 2 is concerned about the potential for widespread, intensive gas drilling activities in the New York City watershed (emphasis added). As a signatory to the 1997 New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement, we strongly support one of its major tenets – that watershed protection and community vitality can be achieved concurrently. However, the potential for intensive gas drilling in the watershed poses new challenges that did not exist when the MOA signatories agreed on a common vision. Despite the important mitigation measures already proposed by NYSDEC in the draft SGEIS, we have serious reservations about whether intensive gas drilling is consistent with the vision of long-term maintenance of a high quality unfiltered water supply. We agree with the sentiments recently expressed by Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts of the NYCDEP, who noted that the New York City watersheds deserve State protection, and that a precautionary approach is appropriate at this time (emphasis added).

To address this concern, Region 2 recommends a moratorium on drilling in the New York City watershed so that NYSDEC may gain experience with regulating high volume hydraulic fracturing activities in less sensitive areas(emphasis added). If experience demonstrates that drilling can occur without adverse impacts, then the moratorium could be replaced with a phased permitting plan which would limit the intensity of drilling activity.

THIS KEY RECOMMENDATION WAS EVIDENTLY NOT INCLUDED IN THE FINAL COMMENTS EPA SUBMITTED TO NYSDEC ON 12/30/09. See Attachment E.