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Red Alert: Call Governor Cuomo Today to Require Public Participation Before Proposing a Final SGEIS


I write to put you on Red Alert that a Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) might be adopted any day which would permit future shale fracking in New York. I implore you to take immediate action to make sure that our state is permanently protected from shale fracking.

When the Department of Health's Public Health Review recommended on 12/17/14 that shale fracking "should not proceed in New York," environmental groups and media outlets declared that shale fracking had been "banned." As a result, the public was led to believe that shale fracking had been permanently prohibited in our state.

That is absolutely not true based on either the recommendations in the Public Health Review or subsequent statements by Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens.

Please note that by definition the word "ban" does not necessarily mean a permanent prohibition. A "ban" can refer to a prohibition of any duration.

At a joint legislative budget hearing on 1/28/15 Commissioner Martens reportedly said the Cuomo administration's prohibition decision could be "revisited at any time (emphasis added) when new or significant information comes to light."

The Commissioner also said “I don’t think it’s going to be revisited in the near term...," but his assurances are meaningless because events could change in the blink of an eye.


Most telling of all, Governor Cuomo failed to respond to our 3/16/15 coalition letter which requests that he clarify whether a Final SGEIS would permanently prohibit shale fracking in New York. The implications of Andrew Cuomo's silence should be unmistakable to all Fractivists.


What We Must Do

Unless we learn otherwise, we must assume that a Final SGEIS would fulfill the purpose of the proceeding: "Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs."

For more than five years, our campaign has been laser-focused on preventing adoption of an inadequate Final SGEIS that would greenlight shale fracking in our state. Achieving that goal is more important than ever. We might have only a few days to survive the latest challenge.

Where the Final SGEIS Proceeding Stands

DEC has been preparing a Final SGEIS in secret without any public participation whatsoever. According to Commissioner Martens, it could be adopted any day now.

If a Final SGEIS is formally adopted, a ten-day comment period would ensue, but DEC is not required to amend the Final SGEIS based on comments received during that time.

The SGEIS proceeding would be completed once DEC issues a Findings Statement after the ten-day comment period ends.

Take Action Today

For these reasons, it is imperative that we know what a Final SGEIS would accomplish before it is proposed.

With that goal in mind, we must immediately require public participation for the Final SGEIS proceeding so that we can prevent its adoption if it is inadequate or incomplete.

Please call Governor Cuomo today at 518 474 8390.

Tell Andrew Cuomo:

"I respectfully request Public Notice, Review and Comment about the scope of any FINAL SGEIS BEFORE IT IS PROPOSED FOR ADOPTION."

"I want to know if shale fracking would be permanently prohibited and exactly how your administration proposes to 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.'"

Stand Ready

Under a worst case scenario, Governor Cuomo could adopt a Final SGEIS that does not permanently prohibit shale fracking or enforce the Public Health Review's key recommendation.

In that event, we would have at least ten days to generate an unprecedented political firestorm to prevent a Findings Statement from being issued.


All of our incredible hard work over the last five years is on the line. We must take nothing for granted. We have to make sure that any Final SGEIS permanently safeguards all New Yorkers from shale fracking.

You can listen to recent radio coverage that brings you up to date. Thanks to WRFI in Ithaca, NY:

Thanks so much for your assistance.

Onward and upward.

Very best regards,


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