Too busy to read further? Use this Urgent Action Guide: http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/documents/2015-04-27/urgent-action-guide
As you know, Fractivists rejoiced on December 17, 2014 when they were led to believe that Governor Cuomo had permanently banned shale fracking in New York.
It is now crystal clear that the Governor only plans to prohibit shale fracking “at this time.” Moreover, his decision could be “revisited at any time when new or significant information comes to light.” See Cuomo administration statements at the end of this alert.
The Governor’s proposed policy would be implemented by adopting a Final SGEIS (Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement) based on a 2011 draft proposal that received massive criticism and is based on information nearly seven years old. That administrative action could happen any day.
On Friday April 24th, Susan Arbetter of Capitol Pressroom resolved any uncertainty about what lies ahead by closely questioning Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Martens. She said to the Commissioner: “Activists were thrilled when they heard about the ban, but some of those same activists are looking for a permanent ban. Is there a permanent ban in the Final SGEIS?”
Commissioner Martens responded: “Ah, um, well it is, it’s permanent until it changes.” You can hear all of the Commissioner’s comments at 3:12 of the interview: http://www.wcny.org/cpr042415/
Take Urgent Action: Call Governor Cuomo Today
All of our efforts must now focus on preventing adoption of a Final SGEIS that could permit future shale fracking in New York. That is the work we began in November 2009 when the original Draft SGEIS was reportedly only weeks away from adoption.
Call Governor Cuomo at 518 474 8390.
You will hear a recording. Press 2 to leave a message or press 3 to speak with a live person. Either option is fine.
First and foremost, please request public participation:
“I respectfully request Public Notice and an opportunity for Review and Comment about the scope of any FINAL SGEIS BEFORE IT IS PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION.”
A second request is equally important:
“I want to know exactly how your administration will enforce the Public Health Review’s key recommendation in any Final SGEIS:
“Until the science provides sufficient information to determine the level of risk to public health from HVHF to all New Yorkers and whether the risks can be adequately managed, DOH recommends that HVHF should not proceed in New York State.”
Feel free to ask the Governor’s assistants read back your message to make sure they get it right.
Call as many times as you like. Ask everyone you know to call. Pour it on.
Become a signatory to our latest coalition letter:http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/letters/2015/3/14/coalition-letter-disclose-how-health-review-findings-to-policy
Governor Cuomo is Facing Intense and Growing Opposition to a Final SGEIS Being Prepared in Secret Without Public Input
The Governor is being deluged with written requests, phone calls, inquiries from key elected officials as well as increased press scrutiny about a Final SGEIS being prepared in secret based on antiquated information.
You can listen to my 4/14/15 interview on the Capitol Pressroom. Thanks, again, to Susan Arbetter for her incredible in-depth coverage of shale fracking over the years. See: http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/news/2015-04-14/walter-hang-interview-capitol-pressroom
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton wrote an amazingly powerful letter to the Governor. It perfectly frames the need for public participation before a Final SGEIS is proposed. See: http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/letters/2015-4-20/Lifton-letter-to-Cuomo-final-sgeis
Ms. Lifton is quoted in Jon Campbell’s piece that reports a Final SGEIS is “at the printers.” See:http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/news/2015-4-22/dec-chief-final-fracking-report-at-printer
Ms. Lifton also was interviewed on 4/24/15 by Bob Joseph on WNBF in Binghamton:http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/news/2015-04-24/wnbf-interviews-barbara-lifton
I am quoted in an SGEIS piece by Jon Campbell that just broke today:http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/news/2015-04-26/lawyers-scrutinize-nys-next-fracking-move
How DEC Plans to Conclude its SGEIS Proceeding
Commissioner Martens says the Final SGEIS “is literally at the printer.” If a Final SGEIS is adopted, a ten-day comment period ensues, but there is NO requirement for DEC to revise the Final SGEIS in response to public input.
After the essentially meaningless comment period ends, a legally binding “Findings Statement” would be issued to conclude the SGEIS permit guideline proceeding begun in 2008.
That is why it is imperative to require public participation before a Final SGEIS is proposed.
I invite you to read our 11/2/2011 coalition letter with more than 22,000 signatories which documents the shortcomings of the Revised Draft SGEIS and requests that it be withdrawn:http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/cuomo/coalition_letter/2011
DEC almost certainly plans to adopt a Final SGEIS that fails to a) permanently prohibit shale fracking in New York, b) enforce the Public Health Review’s critical recommendation or c) resolve the huge array of concerns expressed about the Revised Draft SGEIS.
If that turns out to be the case, Fractivists would have at least ten days to kill the Final SGEIS.
If an immense political firestorm prevents DEC from issuing a Findings Statement, the Final SGEIS would not take effect. In that event, New York’s landmark shale fracking moratorium would continue in full effect.
Everything we have worked so hard to achieve since 2008 is on the line. In the days ahead, I implore you to take concerted action to protect what we have won.
Thank you for all your assistance.
Onward and upward.
All my best regards,
DEC Commissioner says Shale Fracking only “prohibited at this time:”http://toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/news/2014-12-17/nysdoh-completes-review-of-fracking
DEC Commissioner says Shale Fracking prohibition decision could be “revisited at any time when new or significant information comes to light.” See: http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2015/01/28/dec-chief-state-can-revisit-fracking-ban-but-wont-in-near-term