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I trust you have been well since I last communicated with you. As you will see below, my colleagues and I have been busy. I write today because your help is needed more than ever to safeguard New York from natural gas drilling hazards.

New York's Main Line of Defense Against Marcellus Shale Horizontal Hydrofracking Threats

I implore you to redouble your efforts to withdraw the Marcellus Shale draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). We are very close to achieving that goal. One more big push might do it.

You are likely receiving innumerable well-meaning requests to sign petitions, lobby state and federal legislators, watch documentaries, attend talks, etc. All that pales in importance to withdrawing the draft SGEIS and starting that regulatory process over again. Killing the draft SGEIS is paramount. Nothing else really matters at this point.

So long as we prevent an SGEIS from being adopted, New York's de facto moratorium on Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking continues.

If the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) adopts its draft SGEIS, Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking drilling permits will be issued. Given DEC's severe regulatory inadequacies, irreparable pollution problems will likely result.

Nearly 10,000 concerned citizens, elected officials, businesses as well as local, state and national environmental groups have signed our coalition letter requesting withdrawal of the draft SGEIS. I believe that strategy offers the best defense against Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking threats in New York.

Since November, our efforts have achieved historic results. Down the homestretch of the draft SGEIS comment period, Governor Paterson reportedly received hundreds of calls and emails each day requesting the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn. Judith Enck, Region 2 EPA Administrator, got so many calls urging a tougher stand on the draft SGEIS that EPA's phone system crashed. An incredibly hard-hitting EPA letter resulted. Resolutions requesting withdrawal of the draft SGEIS also were passed across New York.

We now need to focus on DEC Commissioner Grannis. He is the key decision-maker we must persuade.

Additional Natural Gas Hazards Documented

I just released extensive county health department data documenting water wells contaminated with brine, homes evacuated due to methane intrusion and ignitable water. That information received widespread newspaper, TV and radio coverage as well as critical editorial support. See my letter to DEC Commissioner Grannis and the data at:

These findings strengthen our argument that the draft SGEIS must be withdrawn. We must drive that point home full-force.

Take Immediate Action Today

First, we need more signatories to the coalition letter. We are very close to reaching our goal of 10,000 signatories and exceed pro-drilling petitions by more than 2:1. Contact everyone you know who has not signed. Beat the bushes. Signatories can be added at:

Second, we need to contact three key officials who will decide the fate of the draft SGEIS: DEC Commissioner Grannis, EPA Region 2 Administrator Enck and Governor Paterson.

The bottom line is that DEC's draft SGEIS is fatally flawed and must be withdrawn. It cannot be revised because the scope of the regulatory proceeding is insufficient. First, it assumed that existing regulations are adequate. That has been documented to be untrue. Second, only three main issues were addressed: effects of extended time at the drill pads; effects of increased water use; and protection of New York City's reservoir watershed. Many other concerns must be addressed. That is why DEC has to go back to the "drawing board" and start over with a revised scope.

EPA, New York City, hundreds of elected officials as well as local, state and national environmental groups have all determined that DEC's draft SGEIS is inadequate. EPA's letter could hardly be more blunt. See:

Call and Email DEC Commissioner Grannis to Withdraw the draft SGEIS.

Thank him for his many years of environmental leadership and public service. Respectfully ask him to heed the requests of all those who have expressed "grave reservations" about the draft SGEIS's shortcomings. Tell him that adopting the draft SGEIS, even if it is revised, is totally unacceptable.

Call and Email EPA Region 2 Administrator Enck.

Thank her for EPA's incredibly strong stand regarding the shortcomings of the draft SGEIS and what needs to be done to adopt effective drilling regulations. Ask her to take further action to require the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn and to start the regulatory process over. Urge her to make sure EPA's decision-making role is more than advisory.

Call and Email Governor Paterson.

DEC's draft SGEIS has been determined to be woefully inadequate by EPA, New York City Mayor Bloomberg, DEC's own employees, hundreds of elected officials, local, state and national environmental groups, businesses, local health authorities and nearly 10,000 concerned citizens.

Ask the Governor to withdraw the draft SGEIS. Tell him he must prevent additional gas drilling hazards in New York State and clean up the pollution problems we already have.


After you have mobilized all your friends, family members and colleagues to call, email and get more coalition letter signatories, you should consider trying to pass local resolutions requesting the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn. So far, resolutions have been passed in the Town of Ithaca, the Town of Enfield, the Village of Dryden and New York City Community Board One.

The Town of Ithaca resolution is very in-depth. The Community Board One resolution is the most recent and references the EPA letter. Take your pick. See:

Thank you Rich DePaolo, Judy Hyman, Randall Sterling and Catherine McVay-Hughes for your hard work.

As you may have heard, a stupendous victory was recently won in Pulteney, NY, where more than 500 concerned citizens, local officials and business owners thwarted a proposed Chesapeake Energy natural gas wastewater deep well disposal facility within one mile of famed Keuka Lake. That was the second time Toxics Targeting helped prevent natural gas wastewater disposal in New York.

Thank you Jeff and Jodi Andrysick, the citizens of Pulteney, Eric Massa and his staff, Rachel Treichler, Arthur Hunt and Professor Richard Young for their legion efforts in the public interest. See and

In conclusion, we have collectively generated enormous pressure for withdrawing the draft SGEIS and revising it on a comprehensive basis. Now we need to make that happen.

With all due respect, I urge you to stay focused on the immediate tasks I have outlined. Please note that there is very little likelihood that state or federal Marcellus Shale-related legislation will be enacted in the near future. A recently announced EPA hydrofracking study is unlikely to prevent Marcellus Shale drilling in New York. Requesting a second draft SGEIS to be issued would be a meaningless gesture.

Simply demand the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn. Keep making that request over and over until you hear otherwise from me. It is as simple as that.

Thank you so much for all your help. Onward and upward.

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