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Coalition Letter requests that NYSDEC issue a Supplemental Findings Statement to prohibit all types of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

We, the undersigned, write respectfully to request that your Department of Environmental Conservation issue a Supplemental Findings Statement to revise its definition of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) to prohibit all forms of shale fracking in New York, not just HVHF based on "300,000 or more gallons of water."

Our request is critically important because DEC received a gas well permit application on April 24, 2015 to frack Marcellus shale using gelled propane instead of water in Tioga County. Since then, there have been many exchanges between DEC and the applicant.

See: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/documents/2015-09-23/propane-fracking-proposed-tioga-co

Your administration clearly knew that its HVHF definition was inadequate to implement the No-Action decision in the Findings Statement issued on June 29, 2015.

Given that shortcoming, we request that you take immediate action to fulfill the shale fracking prohibition specified in the Findings Statement:

"Based on unavoidable adverse environmental impacts and uncertainty regarding the science surrounding high-volume hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts to public health and the environment, the Department finds that the best course of action is to select the No Action alternative. Selection of the No Action alternative means that the Department will not establish a high-volume hydraulic fracturing permitting program; that no individual or site-specific permit applications for wells using high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be processed; and that high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be prohibited in New York State (emphasis added)."

See PDF page 42 at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/materials_minerals_pdf/findingstatehvhf62015.pdf

DEC's No-Action decision reflects a determination that non-water HVHF associated with the “environmentally-friendly chemical approach," including "Liquid CO2," "Nitrogen-based foam" and " Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)," "all fail to limit unavoidable adverse environmental impacts and fail to address the risks and uncertainties of high-volume hydraulic fracturing."

Yet, the Findings Statement's HVHF definition excludes those fracking methods because it is limited to:

"the stimulation of a well using 300,000 or more gallons of water (emphasis added) as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for all stages in a well completion, regardless of whether the well is vertical or directional, including horizontal."

We request that the definition of HVHF prohibit the use of gelled propane proposed in Tioga County by specifically barring the use of "water or any other substances" as the base fluid for hydraulic fracking proposed for Marcellus Shale in New York.

We also request that the definition of "high-volume" hydraulic fracking be revised from 300,000 or more gallons for all stages of a well completion to 5,000 or more gallons for any stage of a well completion.

Given those concerns, New York's definition of HVHF should be:

"High-volume hydraulic fracturing is defined as the stimulation of a well using 5,000 [300,000] or more gallons of water or any other substances as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for any [all] stage[s]in a well completion, regardless of whether the well is vertical or directional, including horizontal, in Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs. The 5,000 [300,000]-gallon threshold is the sum of all water or any other substances, fresh and recycled, used for any [all] stage[s] in a well completion. Well stimulation requiring less than 5,000 [300,000] gallons of water or any other substances as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for any [all] stage[s] in a well completion is not considered high-volume, and will continue to be reviewed and permitted pursuant to the 1992 GEIS, and 1992 and 1993 Findings Statements, but not for Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs."

Adopting this revised definition is critical to implementing your administration's final conclusion regarding HVHF:

"Consistent with the social, economic and other essential considerations from among the reasonable alternatives available, the No-Action alternative avoids adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable; including impacts disclosed in the supplemental environmental impact statement..."

We trust that you will find our request self-explanatory, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions that we might be able to answer.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Very respectfully yours,

Total Signatory Count: 1456

Susanne Adrian
192 1st ave
New York, Ny
Christa Bissell
Ithaca, NY
George Stadnik
24-66 44th Street
Astoria, NY
Kim Kent
6711 Pickup Hill Rd
Cherry Creek, NY
Martha Kinney
14886
5043 N. FRONTENAC ROAD
Trumansburg , New York
Carola Soltau
522 Washington St
Hudson, NY

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