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Recent coverage of the revised draft SGEIS/activists confront Commissioner Martens in Binghamton/Auburn update


I write to provide a quick update. In less than a week, we have generated extensive press coverage of the fundamental unfairness of DEC's revised draft SGEIS and are beginning to hammer away at its massive shortcomings.|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

The revised draft SGEIS is dreadfully inadequate and provides less protection than PA requires for gas drilling wastewater discharged into publicly owned treatment works. That is shockingly unacceptable.

Bright and early this morning, dozens of activists gathered in Binghamton to confront DEC Commissioner Martens as he arrived to defend his incomplete proposal. We totally got the drop on the other side and had the venue to ourselves. We got to ask him questions, wave pithy, eloquent signs and loudly chant "Equal Protection for All New Yorkers" as he drove by.

Thanks to all our stalwart colleagues from Binghamton, Ithaca and around the Southern Tier, including NYRAD, Binghamton Environmental and Shaleshock. In particular, many thanks to Karen Glauber and Elaine Perkus, who worked long into the night to enable the event to happen. Our ability to gather intelligence, surmount logistical challenges and make the event a success with virtually zero advance notice is a testament to working wonderfully well together for nearly a year. It was another great day at the grassroots level in this fight. Bless you all.

See coverage at:

See photos of activists and the Commissioner speeding away in his SUV at:

Speaking of excellent grassroots victories, we recently learned that Auburn, NY has stopped accepting even a single drop of gas drilling wastewater. That is a landmark achievement that could set a critical precedent for the rest of New York.

This campaign is another example of coachable citizen activists working hard and well together to win important victories. With a modicum of assistance, they took full advantage of coverage in The New York Times and local outlets that Auburn was accepting more gas drilling wastewater than any other municipal plant in New York State. They generated additional press coverage, gathered more than 1,300 signatories to a coalition letter requesting that the practice be halted and built a formidable local coalition of supporters.

In short order, the Auburn Citizen editorialized in favor of a gas drilling wastewater moratorium, technical challenges were surmounted and nearly 200 citizens showed up for a major rally before a key City Council meeting.

The next day, the firm dumping 87% of the gas drilling wastewater into the plant called it quits. It was later revealed that all the other haulers had reportedly halted shipments due to regulatory shortcomings.

Tomorrow there will be a key vote. Get there if you can.

"On Thursday, July 7th at 4:30pm at City Hall, 24 South St., Auburn, NY, Auburn City Council is going to be voting on the following resolution:

C. Council Resolution #94 of 2011 prohibiting the City of Auburn from accepting natural gas drilling water at the Wastewater Treatment Plant."

Thank you Terry ( and Beth Beer Cuddy and all your colleagues at the Cayuga Anti-fracking Alliance (CAFA) for your efforts. Thanks very much to everyone who showed up at the rally. That was a stellar day.

See the progression of this campaign:

See 6/18/11 at:

In conclusion, we likely have three months to kill the revised draft SGEIS by sending it back to the drawing board. Otherwise, it could get adopted as a Final SGEIS and New York's de facto Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracturing moratorium could be lifted.

I implore you not to waste a moment of precious time or we might all regret it.

I hope to have an analysis for your review shortly.



Call Governor Cuomo ASAP at 518-474-8390.

Email the Governor at

A. Demand Equal Environmental Protection for All New Yorkers From Marcellus Shale Horizontal Hydrofracturing.

B. If Marcellus Shale Hydrofracturing cannot be done safely in New York City and Syracuse watersheds, state lands and over primary aquifers, it obviously cannot be done safely anywhere in New York.

C. Send the draft SGEIS back to the drawing board for yet another do-over.