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Breaking News: Final SGEIS does NOT Necessarily Prohibit Marcellus Shale Fracking in New York State


The Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) just released today (5-13-15) by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation does NOT necessarily prohibit shale fracking in New York State.

In addition, there is no requirement that the key recommendation of the Department of Health would be enforced:

"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 [Department of Health] recommends that HVHF should not proceed in NYS (emphasis added)."

The three action alternatives under consideration include: a) "denial of permits," b) "use of a phased-permitting approach," and c) "The required use of "€œgreen"€ or non-chemical fracturing technologies and additives."

We have no idea which alternative DEC will choose.

There is also no requirement for meaningful public participation before a "Findings Statement" could be issued in as soon as 10 days to translate the Final SGEIS into effect.

Read the Final SGEIS at:

DEC "would use the 1992 GEIS and the Final SGEIS in reviewing applications to conduct high-volume hydraulic fracturing shale fracking operations in New York State if high-volume hydraulic fracturing were authorized."

Is is unimaginable that DEC proposes to safeguard New Yorkers from shale fracking using permit guidelines up to 23 years old.

See page 10 at:

Shale fracking is not prohibited in any way even though DEC concluded:

"In this regard, the ever increasing collection of proposed mitigation measures demonstrates three essential weaknesses of the proposed program: (1) the effectiveness of the mitigation is uncertain; (2) the potential risk and impact from the proposed Action to the environment and public health cannot be quantified at this time, and (3) there are some significant adverse impacts that are simply unavoidable."

See Chapter 6, page 14 at:

Three action alternatives:

"The following alternatives to issuance of permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing to develop the Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs have been reviewed for the purpose of this SGEIS:

1) The denial of permits to develop the Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs by horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing (No - action alternative);

2) The use of a phased-permitting approach to developing the Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs, including consideration of limiting and/or restricting
resource development in designated areas; and

3) The required use of "€œgreen"€ or non-chemical fracturing technologies and additives."

See page 5:


Governor Cuomo refused thousands of respectful requests to require meaningful public participation before the Final SGEIS was adopted.

At least a 10-day period will now ensue before a "Findings Statement" could be issued and a final decision rendered in this matter.

The immediate problem is that the public has no idea what the Findings Statement will provide.

That is why Governor Cuomo should immediately reveal what he plans to do while making sure that the requirements of the State Environmental Quality Review are strictly fulfilled.

New Yorkers concerned about shale fracking must know how the Cuomo administration will resolve arguably the most important environmental policy decision in a generation while they still have an opportunity to comment on that plan.

More shortly.

Best regards,


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