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Governor Cuomo: Please withdraw the Marcellus Shale Draft SGEIS because it is nearly five years old, lacks any current information and would inadequately protect New York from fracking hazards

We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that you withdraw the Marcellus Shale Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) because it is nearly five years old, lacks any current information whatsoever and would inadequately protect New York from fracking hazards.

In 2008, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) decided not to permit shale fracking until a Final SGEIS was adopted to safeguard public health and the environment. That de facto moratorium has prevented even one shale gas production well from ever being fracked in our state.

The original Draft SGEIS was proposed in 2009 and is based on a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) adopted nearly 22 years ago. The Draft SGEIS is based on a scoping proceeding undertaken six years ago. A Revised Draft SGEIS was released nearly three years ago and has never been updated.

Given the long delay in adopting the Draft SGEIS, it lacks any current information. As a result, it fails to assess hundreds of recent investigations, studies and reports that have significantly expanded the scientific understanding of shale fracking’s pollution impacts.

Most importantly, the “health impact analysis” in the Draft SGEIS reflects information that is nearly five years old. That is ancient by scientific investigation standards.

Given these shortcomings, it would be inappropriate to make a decision to permit shale fracking in New York based on a Draft SGEIS that is too old and outdated to fulfill that purpose.

That is why we respectfully request that you:

a) Withdraw the Draft SGEIS;

b) Halt your State Department of Health (DOH) “review” of the dated “health impact analysis” in the Draft SGEIS;

c) Instruct your DOH to undertake a comprehensive shale fracking “Public Health Impact Study” openly and transparently using all available current data;

d) Require DOH and DEC to utilize the findings of the “Public Health Impact Study” to propose and adopt a new Generic Environmental Impact Statement. That is precisely what the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended in 2009. See: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/sites/default/files/Marcellus_dSGEIS_Comment_Letter_plus_Enclosure_0.pdf

Against that background, New York has an unprecedented opportunity to eliminate the fossil fuel extraction hazards that have plagued our state for nearly 200 years. Only one natural gas well was drilled and “completed” for production in New York during all of 2013, the most recent year for which DEC permitting information is publicly available.

According to DEC's data, statewide natural gas production has now fallen to the level of 25 years ago. New York’s natural gas production plunged from 54,916 million cubic feet (mmcf) in 2007 to 26,424 mmcf in 2012. That is a 52% decline. The recent natural gas boom has essentially gone bust.

DEC’s data also document that oil production in New York has plummeted for 70 years and recently reached the lowest production levels in a century. All the oil extracted in New York in a day would not even fill one backyard swimming pool.

See: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/12anrpt.pdf

To achieve the goal of protecting New Yorkers from fossil fuel extraction hazards, we request that you halt improper gas/oil wastewater disposal practices involving landspreading as well as brine pit dumping and adopt strict toxic clean up liability, private right of legal action and financial surety requirements to allow citizens to protect themselves in the absence of strict regulatory oversight.

Until this comprehensive plan of action has been implemented, we request that New York’s shale fracking moratorium remain in full effect.

Thank you for considering our respectful request. We look forward to receiving your prompt reply.

Very best regards,

Total Signatory Count: 2214

Melanie Gold
53 Lake Trail
Greenwood Lake, NY
Debra Slattery
Slate Hill, NY
Rene Blank
109 W. 11th Street
New York, NY
Rhea Sohne
659 washington st 2R
New York, New York
tanya marquette
149 forest glen rd
new paltz, new york
Andrew McLaughlin
Dr.
Warwick, NY
Clarissa Farrell
3066 North Swamp Rd
Alpine, NY
Anna Chapman
Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst
Lower Fifth
5 West 19th Street #9
New York, NY 10011
Brenda C. Reynolds
1685 West Lake Road
Penn Yan, NY
Alex Beauchamp
Northeast Region Director
Food & Water Watch
68 Jay St
Brooklyn, NY
Viviana Hassberg
1564 Unionport Road
Bronx, NY
Elaine Sperbeck
618 E.Monroe street
Little Falls, NY
Toby Heilbrunn
28 Shultis Farm Rd
Bearsville, NY
Lisa J Slade
308 Fred Braun Road
Unadilla, NY

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