More important news from Catskill Mountainkeeper

GAS DRILLING BULLETIN
THE FIRST PUBLIC HEARING ON THE DEC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY IS IN LOCH SHELDRAKE NEXT WEDNESDAY – DON’T MISS IT –
AND SIGN THE IMPORTANT PETITION BELOW

Next Wednesday, October 28th, the New York State DEC will hold its first public hearing on its Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Study on Gas Drilling that was issued on September 30, 2009. This report spells out the conditions under which gas drilling may commence.

This is a critical opportunity for all residents and lovers of the Catskills to make comments for the record on the information in the report.

Please join us in registering your serious concerns about the inability of the provisions of the report to protect you and your fellow New York State residents. The media, DEC officials and your elected representatives will be there gauging how much you care.

Click here for the Mountainkeeper Natural Gas Fact Sheet
Click here to view the 800+ page Draft Supplemental from DEC (PDF)

Tell them that you want:

  • An extension on the 60 day comment period to give the public, the media and experts adequate time to learn the ramifications of this 800+ page report and a fair chance to state their case
  • A cumulative impact requirement
  • A comprehensive wastewater plan that takes into consideration our state’s aging and inadequate wastewater capabilities
  • A plan to assure that local officials will have the staffing and training to monitor and respond to accidents
  • A thorough and comprehensive study of the cumulative impacts on on lands within the blue line of the Catskill Park and the New York City Watershed
  • Answers about why the gas companies won’t be on the hook when there are accidents and environmental damage
  • Adequate provisions that protect us from the depletion of our local water supply by the drilling companies
  • The necessary protection of our roads and personal land from excessive truck traffic, toxic and radioactive loads, open pit capture ponds and multistory rigs

Meeting Location:

Loch Sheldrake – Sullivan County Community College E Building, Seelig Theatre; 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
Doors will open at 6:00 PM for individual questions and speaker sign up.
Public comment session will start at 7:00 PM.

Future Public Hearings:

11/10/2009 – New York City – Stuyvesant High School High School Auditorium, 345 Chambers St, New York, NY 10282
11/12/2009 – Chenango Bridge – Chenango Valley High School High School Auditorium, 221 Chenango Bridge Rd, Chenango Bridge, NY 13901
TBD – Elmira/Corning


CATSKILL MOUNTAINKEEPER TRAVERSING THE STATE TO TESTIFY ABOUT THE DEFICIENCIES OF THE DEC STUDY ON GAS DRILLING

Catskill Mountainkeeper has been attending meetings throughout New York State to educate government officials and the public about the dangers of natural gas drilling.

On Thursday October 15th Wes Gillingham, Program Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper was one of 25 people who testified at a hearing held by the New York State Assembly’s Environmental Conservation Committee on proposed gas drilling.  He testified that the report puts no limitation on the total number of gas wells that could be developed within a specific area and stipulates that each drilling operation be evaluated as a single event. Wes said, “The whole cumulative impact is a glaring problem. Each company knows how much land they’ve leased. One well leads to another and another. And how will the state control the impact of all that waste?”


According to Gillingham “Mountainkeeper is fully committed to making sure that everyone who lives, works and recreates in the Catskill region has the opportunity to learn what the real threat of gas drilling will be on their home, their health and their region. The DEC study is just plain inadequate and THAT message has to be clearly delivered publicly to as many people as possible.”


ELECTED OFFICIALS JOIN IN OUR EFFORT TO GET A LONGER COMMENT PERIOD ON THE DEC SGEIS REPORT

The New York State DEC report has stipulated a 60 day period during which the public can submit comments on what they proposed.  Many groups, including Catskill Mountainkeeper have been advocating to extend this period by at least 60 days.  Ramsay Adams, of Catskill Mountainkeeper said, “It is critically important that New Yorkers have sufficient time to read and digest this 800 page report and that there is adequate time for public discourse about the marked impact this will have on their lives.”

Now it appears as if our legislators have heard and are requesting that this period be extended.  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, have asked the state for extensive public hearings. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has commissioned an independent scientific study of the risks to the watershed.

As the New York Times wrote in its editorial on October 16, 2009 – “A fair review will not be possible unless the state’s absurdly quick Nov. 30 deadline for public comment is extended. The mayor’s study will not even be completed until mid-December. It is dangerously irresponsible to rush this decision.”  In addition, many important newspapers are demanding that the DEC extend the comment period to 120 days.  These include the Albany Times Record, Rochester City Newspaper, the River Reporter and the Phoenicia Times.

Click here to read some of the recent news stories

Please click here to sign a petition asking the DEC to extend the comment period.

HELP US HELP YOU
It has become all too clear that the fight against gas drilling has become a marathon.  In order to continue to work on behalf of the Catskills we need your support.

Help Mountainkeeper lead the fight.  Click here to make a secure online donation.


For more information about the gas drilling threat, please go to our website or you can call our office at 845.482.5400
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