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Thank you for all of your lovely comments/This amazing victory belongs to everyone who helped make our campaign such an astounding success

Thank you for contributing to Toxics Targeting's on-going research, advocacy and organizing campaign to keep shale fracking out of New York:


I very much appreciate all of the kind notes from Fractivists who worked so long and hard to safeguard 100% of New York from shale fracking. It is wonderful to hear from each and every one of you. Your generous thoughts mean more to me than you will ever know. Thank you.

From day one, we fought against seemingly insurmountable odds to prevent an inadequate Final SGEIS from permitting shale fracking in our state. That successful strategy extended New York's 2008 shale fracking moratorium year after grueling year. The Final SGEIS Findings Statement simply continues that prohibition longer than any of us originally thought possible.

Without your help, none of that would have happened. That is why our improbable victory belongs to everyone who helped, and we should all revel in our collective achievement.

Check out many lovely Fractivist thank-you notes. They are addressed as much to you as me:

Motivating, Educating and Mobilizing Citizens With One Goal in Mind

Big enviro groups abandoned grassroots organizing campaigns decades ago in favor of one-word policy solutions to incredibly complex problems ("green," "sustainable," "smart," "eco-friendly"). That strategy has not won many historic victories.

In stark contrast, we proved that literally tens of thousands of activists in communities all over New York and elsewhere can be motivated, educated and mobilized to defeat the biggest corporate polluters on the planet by implementing a tightly coordinated political action plan that unfolded from the State Capitol to the Commons to farmers' fields and supermarket aisles.

DEC Commissioner Martens Has Quit

I am pleased to report that we outlasted DEC Commissioner, Joe Martens, no disrespect intended. Only a day after he issued the SGEIS Findings Statement to prohibit shale fracking throughout New York, the Commissioner announced his forthcoming departure.

Jon Campbell's Gannett piece documents that we turned the Commissioner around 180-degrees from his original pro-shale fracking position. That reversal reflects the hard-fought policy change that we required Governor Cuomo to adopt. As they say in the Capitol, our efforts involved "heavy lifting."


Only months after Commissioner Martens was appointed, I met personally with him along with Catherine McVeigh Hughes (Chair, Manhattan Community Board One), Ben Perkus (President, New York Residents Against Drilling), Pam Mackesey (Tompkins County Legislator), Cathleen Breen (NYPIRG), Larysa Dyrszka, MD and Wes Gillingham (Catskill Mountainkeeper). Eugene Leff, the person in charge of the SGEIS, also attended.

See pic:

The activists very specifically tag-teamed the Commissioner to broaden the scope of the Revised Draft SGEIS proceeding in order to fulfill Executive Order No. 41, notably to address public health concerns. At the end of the meeting, he said tersely, "You are not going to get your answer today."

Nearly four years later, we finally received our favorable reply. That was exactly how the battle was won.

During his tenure, Commissioner Martens served honorably and respectfully under difficult circumstances. He deserves our best wishes. Thanks, Joe, for your many years of public service.

More Impressive Press Coverage For Our Work

We received additional media coverage for our landmark shale fracking prohibition victory. Thanks to former Binghamton Mayor, Matt Ryan and Ben Perkus who joined me at yet another in a long string of news events. I also would like to express my appreciation to the Binghamton press corps. Their reporting has been integral to our success.

Please Remain Vigilant: Pro-Frackers Will Never Give Up Their Quest and New York's Shale Fracking Prohibition Decision Could be Revisited "At Any Time"

The TV reporting proves that pro-frackers are still pushing for shale fracking to be permitted in New York. I can assure you that they will never give up their quest. We must remain ever vigilant or our victory could be reversed too quickly to be believed.

Mainstream enviros have declared that Governor Cuomo would never change his shale fracking decision, the Environmental Protection Agency's draft fracking study has been discredited and New York's landmark prohibition decision was determined simply by "good science."

I have a different view. We prevailed by focusing brutal political pressure on Governors Cuomo and Paterson. While we held off shale fracking in New York, more than 150,000 gas and oil production wells were fracked nationwide because green groups were unwilling or powerless to stop that. The EPA draft study will expand fracking unless its fatal flaws are documented.

While we can, we must further bolster New York's shale fracking defenses because a pro-fracking counter-attack is already underway and will only grow more intense.

Commissioner Martens testified before the State Legislature on 1/28/15 that New York's shale fracking prohibition could be, "revisited at any time when new or significant information comes to light." That policy will likely survive his departure, so we must take nothing for granted in the years ahead.

Generous People Say the Nicest Things

For the moment, however, I invite you to toast all our good fortune and read the many generous and kind comments presented below.

Thank you, again, for all your unstinting and stupendous help lo these many years. It has been a privilege to be able to work with you. Great job. What a blast.

More later.

All my deepest affection and gratitude,


Belated Congrats

The Findings Statement is a stunning capstone to an incredible campaign. Congrats. I'm not sure they could have tied the hands of a future governor more tightly.

From my perch, your work and leadership were absolutely essential to victory. Your voice and unambivalent position forced mainstream environmental groups to arrive at a ban posture--at a time when almost no one was taking on the governor. It united the vast majority of voices and drowned out the accommodaters. It also allowed others to catch up and in some cases run to the front of the parade.

Anyway, I hope it's a joyous Fourth of July. Sometimes the good guys win.


Re: Congratulations on winning the biggest environmental victory in a generation

Dear Walter Hang,

We cannot thank you enough for what you have done for all of us. We were horrified when the threat of fracking began and felt a terrible helplessness. You gave us focus for action and prevented us from sinking into a kind of muddled despair. That it is possible to do this in NY kindles hope as well for what can be done elsewhere.

Again, you have our deepest thanks.

Yours truly,
Joan F & Michael O'B

Walter, you don't know me personally but I wanted to thank you for your unstinting dedication, expert advocacy and perseverance during this extraordinary time. In my 50 years of supporting progressive activism I have almost never witnessed the level of commitment and determination that you demonstrated. Thank you again.

Laura G


There's no way I can express my appreciation for all you did during the past seven years to bring this wonderful news to the people of New York. You've been amazing ....and have taught us well on how to persist in doing whatever needs to be done to reach an important goal.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

John B

Thank you for all your work on bringing about this victory! We are deeply grateful, as we have been praying for this day for years.

God bless you and reward you for caring about this home he has given us.


Sr. Margaret
Director, JPIC
Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement

I know that lots and lots of people worked very hard on this, and I'd like to thank every one of them. But especially, I'd like to thank Walter Hang. He is a hero: courageous in the face of daunting tasks and enormous obstacles, persistent and skilled. Thank you, Walter. You embody the best of what many others also did to make my beloved upstate New York safe.

Lonnie C.

Well, aren't you the cat's meow !!! Lots of good news and lots of thanks, but the biggest thank you should go to you for your unrelenting and realistic organizing -- so valuable to those of us without your knowledge of the political and legislative process. Please extend my gratitude to all those on your staff who were part of this success to prohibit fracking from New York State.

There is no way this victory could have been achieved without your summoning of the troops and enlisting our buy-in with your strategies. I, for one, was ready and eager, but I must say that your missives -- your turn of phrase, your colloquial encouragements, your down-to-earth reports -- helped me know what was important and what was the next step. You have the uncanny ability to write emails that are full of news and motivating at the same time. Even such a remark as "onward and upward" took on new meaning as a herald to activism.

Bravo Walter Hang. You are one in a million and I will forever be indebted to you, and Sullivan County will forever be indebted to you, and New York State will forever be indebted to you. Many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many thanks.

Gratefully and with the utmost respect,

Martha S

OMG! You were the one who got us all going Walter! I thank you! Words cannot express my gratitude!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is such fantastic news. I am so happy, I am crying. Yoweeeee this is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Thank you!

Most sincerely and with love,
Annie C


Hi Walter:

Congratulations hardly does justice to your extraordinary efforts on fracking!!


This great state owes you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for leading the charge, Mr. Hang!

Mega-super-congratulations on an unbelievable victory. Your unwavering determination to see this through to the very end is quite admirable. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.



YOU have accomplished an extraordinary political victory. No one does this alone and I didn't think it could be done, but it certainly couldn't have been done without you.

Well done!

Marc M

The citizens of New York owe you a great debt of gratitude for your indefatigable labors! Thank you so much for your dedication to this important cause. May this decision withstand the inevitable legal challenges.
Best wishes

congratulations - + unintended consequences
Hello Sir:

I read your 1 AM email, and congratulations are in order. I know many organizations worked concurrently on the anti-fracking campaign, but I feel you are certainly one of the lynchpins of the success we are seeing. As an aside, I think the industry had advance notice of the negative outcome for their side, as the tale I will tell below might divulge.

We are summer residents on the west shore of Waneta Lake, (about 40 miles due west of Ithaca, between Hammondsport and Watkins Glen.) We've been here 12 years. Fifteen hundred feet up the hill from us sits a conventional gas well (the Fimlaid well) drilled in 1997. It's never been productively connected despite being at very high pressure (3000 lb) both quiescent and flowing (approx 2000 lb.) The closest low pressure line (belonging to NYSEG) is less than a mile away, though connection to it would only allow about 50,000 cubic feet per day of production.

This is one of many wells around the state which have never been connected. Now the DEC is requiring that they be plugged if they are not to be produced. The result is an environmental nightmare as a worker comes several days in a row, and vents the gas to the atmosphere for 6 hours a day at high enough velocity that it sounds like a jet engine at takeoff power, in an attempt to get the pressure low enough for plugging. This well was drilled by Columbia Gas, but it now owned by Chesapeake Petroleum. One of their supervisory employees told me they are planning on abandoning and plugging existing productive and non-producing wells all over the state.

The wastefulness of this process and the lack of will to produce gas safely and to society's benefit is appalling. I have spoken to people at DEC, FERC and Chesapeake. Most people involved are very concerned about this application of a 1970's law requiring production or plugging, but it's obvious that there must be some tax benefit to plugging and writing off these assets, the environment be damned. I don't hold anyone in the environmentally concerned community as responsible - it's just a sad intersection of corporate greed and government attempt to preserve the quality of the ground water. Again, thank you again for all you have done. As former President of the Lamoka-Waneta Lakes Association I was a frequent signer of your letters, and I worked to keep our membership aware of the issue, despite having Dennis Fagan, the questionable supporter of gas development (who profited from gas development in his consulting business) who is head of the Schuyler County Board of Supervisors, as an associate on our Board.

Politics is hard, and dirty, and frequently thankless.

Thank you to you and your associates for all you have done.

Dene F. K

Infinite thanks to YOU Walter, for your wise and steadfast shepherding of all of us. I think it is quite possible that without your direction to keep our outreach in a form, language and pace that the Animal of State understands, the balance may not have tipped in this direction.

All the very best to you,
Laurie G


I heard this story on the news, but now that I've heard it from you I finally feel that it is real. I am guilty of letting my energy wane as the years of this struggle have wound on. Thank you so much for the tireless energy and detailed attention you have given this campaign! We are all lucky to have had you at the helm.



I first heard you speak at Union College, years ago. You were most impressive: cool, clear-spoken, well-prepared, and logical. You knew of what you spoke, and that was most apparent to all who were present. If the opposition ever underestimated you that night, it was a huge and fatal mistake on their part---although, now, they'll probably all be lining up to offer you a job!

No victory could ever have been achieved without your incredible leadership, Walter. You kept your eyes on the prize and pushed forward, even in the darkest days of this epic battle. You, more than anyone, provided hope and inspiration for the troops, from beginning to end. We are all tremendously indebted to you. You are a true environmental hero.

It's been a great week for progressives everywhere, but, most especially, right here in New York State. Now, on to the White House! (Kidding :>))

Peace, light, and, finally, some well-deserved rest for you,

Bonnie L

So ecstatically happy for you Walter, and New Yorkers everywhere. This absolutely would not have happened if not for your personal efforts, and the contributions of the group that you spearheaded.


Congratulations, Walter!
Great news. Thanks for your determined, indefatigable work on this issue.

Jonathan C

Huge Congratulations to YOU!

It's all due to YOU Walter!!! NY would not be safe, now, if it wasn't for your tireless work for all these years!!!! We all appreciate YOU!!!!

Thank YOU!!!!

And I hope you can get a well-earned vacation now?


Congratulations to you, Walter, for leading the way through this dark maze. A thousand congratulations and a thousand thanks.
Katy P

Great news Walter and it is because of you this win was made. I will vote for you as MVP.

When this all started seven years ago, Stan Scobie explained a lot to me. I heard you talk at the Museum of the Earth back then too. I became convinced that fracking was a technique that could result in an environmental mess, but saw that the gas was there, and the energy industry had the power to overwhelm any one who stood in their way.

We won because of you and the low price of gas which made the candle not worth the game to the gas companies. Their cause was also harmed by the BS of the landsmen who first appeared and the disasters that occurred where drilling was permitted such as PA.
But you were the driving force that brought this home. Without you and your prodding of all this would not have happened.

Thank You and congratulations.

Edward C. K

Walter, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your hard work and persistence. You are a treasure.

Respectfully yours,
Patti W

Dear Walter---Thank you, Walter, for all of your persistent hard work. You have been an inspiration with your careful, cogent and respectful letters which I have been happy and proud to add my name to. This is very personal because I live in an area where the community destruction, water trucks, pollution and noise would have peaked. Best to you in your life.---John B


I have been truly impressed by your continuing, highly focused, indefatigable, and now successful, effort to stop fracking in NY. Yes, winning *is* certainly better than losing!

I don't know how we can thank you enough.




Congratulations. It seems that the almost impossible has now finally been achieved! And, I would say that without you it would have been impossible.

Again, my sincerest congratulations and a very BIG thank you.

My best wishes,
John K (Former skipper of J/33 Highlander)

Hi Walter,

We all appreciate your organizing efforts. It certainly was unclear which side the gas fracking coin would land on. No doubt, your organized advocacy played a major role. This is a tremendously important long-term victory for NYS, and an extraordinarily rare event where the ultimate government decision favors the public interest over the usual short-term corporate interests.


--Dan S

Thank you
I just wanted to say thank you for all the work you did to accomplish this. It was a long hard road but you kept at it and won. Thank you.
Best regards
Judy C

THANK YOU Walter for all YOUR hard work to make this happen!!
Denise K

Thanks, Walter....Let us toast this with a glass of crystal clear water!!!!!!!!

Congratulations! Thanks for all your hard work Walter!!

ej, Aaron, Taidgh, & Cian

Thank you for your tireless effort!

Well done, congratulations (to all of us!), and thank you for your outstanding expertise and leadership on this issue, Walter!

Woohoo! Congratulations to you as well!

On behalf of my family, thank you so much for your tireless leadership in this long struggle! I hope you can take a much-deserved vacation this summer.


And "blessings and congratulations" to you Walter Hang for all your years of hard work!! Thank you.

Congratulations! And thanks for your tireless campaign to keep everyone informed and involved.
Our well water is safe! Sarah

Walter - Thank you for all of your hard work!!!

Thank YOU, Walter, for spearheading this campaign!

Best, Julie

Congratulations to YOU and many many thanks for saving our beautiful state!!

Ann W

Heartfelt thanks and profound respect for your superb leadership!
Gary C

I want to thank you for your efforts in keeping this issue in the forefront, and rallying us to the cause!

yours aye,

brenda l

Thank you Mr. Hang. You are a true hero!


You did an amazing job on this. Much respect!

Thank you for leading the fight!!!

Thank YOU Walter!!!!!!!!

Thanks for your unrelenting effort on behalf of the people on New York Walter. Best Regards, Bridget & Eric S

Excellent news!!!
Thanks for all your ongoing work on this.

Was thinking of you when I read it in the Ithaca Journal this morning. Thanks Walter. Congratulations on this too long awaited justice.

And thank YOU, Walter, for your tenacious work on our behalf!

Michael L

Thank you as always for your critical role in this victory. We all owe you a debt of immense gratitude! Congrats Walter!

Nate S R

Dear Walter,

Thank you for your tireless work to ban fracking in New York. For all of us, in New York state and beyond, this is a tremendous victory.

With best wishes,
Lisa C

Congratulations to you for all your hard work and a super duper job! What a victory! Do you think it will last beyond Cuomo's term?


WALTER!!!!!!!!!!!! Incredible!!

Elizabeth W. W.

Thank you Walter. You are a true hero.

Tom P

My faith in the NYS SEQR Law and Rules has been confirmed. I said if a full review showed significant environmental impacts (see the rules for what is defined as significant) then the Findings could support a denial that would stand legal challenge. The last part is still pending the O&G Industry lawsuit, which I full expect. I predict they will lose.
David S, retired SEQR administrator for the NYSDEC permit program in Region 4.

thank you so much for all your hard work and determination and organization and perseverance through all this Walter!! You were a key figure in this win. You gave us tools to fight with, hope when things looked bleak, and energy boosts to continue the fight.

Thank you!!!


Walter! Fantastic news!..& thanks for
all your efforts on its behalf. You deserve
honors too for your ongoing work toward
making this day happen!
All best!
Julie G

This is truly GREAT news! Thanks so much for all of your hard work. I hope you will treat yourself to a nice vacation somewhere nice and frack-free! :)

Walter, Thank you for your extraordinary efforts !

Winning is wonderful !
Barbara W

fantastic job walter thank you from all of us

I wanted to thank you for being so diligent in your hard work and keeping me so well informed about everything regarding tracking. Congratulations!!!!!
For this great win

Congratulations!! Amazing win!!!

Congratulations to you, Walter!

Thank you for all that you did in uncovering the truth, keeping us informed and organizing action.
You were a key person in this fight and we can't thank you enough.

With much Gratitude,

Pam and Greg W

Walter -

Thanks for all your deep research, leadership, and cheerleading, and congratulations on an astounding victory!


This is fabulous, Walter – almost incredible, but comprehensible given the extraordinary quality of your work. THANK YOU!

Thank you Walter, you've done a great service keeping us all informed,
on our toes and letting us know not only when to take action but
exactly what action to take. I'll be forever grateful, truly.

With much gratitude, love and respect,

Lissa F

congratulations Walter… and thank you so much for leading us throughout this so patiently and eloquently. Hank R

Thank you for all your hard work. Such great news!
Katherine A.

From the Delaware River Watershed.....a huge amount of gratitude for all the tireless work you and Southern Tier Coalitions did to achieve this.
Susan S

Congratulations and thanks for all your devoted work!!! One question- do you think NY could still be open to fracking-related infrastructure such as compressor stations, storage or treatment facilities? We have a home near Pennsylvania on the eastern end of Marcellus.

Peter G

Thank you for all you did to make this possible.
Ruth H

No, Walter, congratulations should be shared -- and you have been instrumental in gathering support and feeding data and identifying strategic directions for various campaigns -- so you deserve all of the congratulations you are giving out!

I suppose we still have to be vigilant -- according to the fragment of the Findings Statement that you included, the NIH, NSF, EPA, "and other" studies are still going to be examined for their ability to say _how_ fracking can be managed safely. What if one of them postulates how that could happen? Would that open the door? And, could there be a "medium-volume hydraulic fracturing" process that would _not_ be prohibited by this Findings Statement? Guess I'm being paranoid.

Anyway, congrats to you, too! Well done.

Dave R

Now, NY can lead other states to ban fracking all over this beautiful country. It's long past time for this to happen!

Sheryl S.

Huge and inestimable thanks to you Walter for all four hard conscientious work to make this a set in stone reality!!

Wow !!!!

Not easily won but WON!!

I hope you will have a victory champagne or bottle of kombucha before rolling up your sleeves for your next passionate cause!

With gratitude
Bernadette F

Dear Walter,

Thank you for keeping all of us on track---we are so grateful!

With best wishes,
Beth O

Yeah I’m definitely throwing back a few, this is a big deal to me represents hope going forward and as you point out there’s a few SANE PEOPLE LEFT IN THE WORLD!


Thank YOU, Walter! You kept us all going. =)

thanks for all your good work!

Hope you can take a well deserved break and smell some flowers.
So appreciate your steadfast work over all these years. Thank you.
Leslie A

Dear Mr. Hang,

This is an amazing outcome. Not only are our butts saved from any number of bad effects, but here an important precedent has been set. The state has implicitly, and maybe even explicitly, required the fracking industry to prove safety. All through this process, for years, I had the sense that environmentalists would need to show "unreasonable risk" in order to ban fracking. Now the burden of proof is where it should be -- on the industry. Ironically, largely because of deficiencies in the state's capacity to regulate and enforce, industry will likely never be able to do so.

Just as well. We need more renewable energy and less reliance on gas and oil. I am convinced that we, as a species, will need to be forced into this by economics. Only when fossil fuels cost more than renewables will we be on the right environmental path. Ending fracking is a step in that direction.

Thank you for your leadership. I'm sure it wasn't easy. The people of New York State, and elsewhere, are in your debt.


Franklin M. R

Congratulations. Thank you for all your hard work that benefits all of us and the future generations.

Nancy R

And thank you Walter for your tireless leadership!

YaY!!!! An excellently fought battle with worldwide earth healing as a result! You are a good good man Walter!! My best! John R

Congratulations, especially to you. You led the way.

Elaine L

Thank you so much for everything that you have done. I can finally relax and enjoy my property in Harpursville.
I was also shocked to hear that fracking has been banned. It was a fight worth fighting for. We who participated
in the fight against fracking are part of History now.

We can't thank you enough.

Walter, thanks so deeply for your leadership. Momentous.


Walter -
Breathtaking! It was your steadfast determination in the face of endless years of imminent defeat that was key in enlisting others to join with you in this struggle.
What will you be doing next? [smile]. A person like you never rests when justice need be done.
Most sincerely and gratefully yours,

Dear Walter,

Thank you for leading and motivating all of us through such a difficult and stressful situation. There's no way the outcome would have been what it was without you. My husband and I have never met you but we know that you are the best and we are so grateful to have been able to help with your guidance. Looking back over past emails it's amazing what was accomplished. It looked insurmountable. I know from experience that giving up can not be an option. In the late 80's Citizen Action in Broome County along with NYPIRG worked to ensure that there would be no incinerator that would have undermined our new recycling program. Many people thought we wouldn't succeed but we did. I believe perseverance is crucial. Again, thank you so very much, Walter.

Brenda W

While we are grateful to Governor Cuomo for doing what was the moral, ethical, environmental, financial (yes financial, think future abatement, clean up and rehabilitation costs) action, he SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS without all the political gyrations. It really was an easy call particularly for a state with an unknown result to the PCB clean up in the Hudson and over one hundred known or cleaned up Superfund sites. (Let us not forget history!)
In my opinion it is you who is deserving of the thanks of millions of New Yorkers (and Pennsylvanians) including all those too disinterested, short sighted and ignorant to be aware of the significance of this victory.

Please accept our whole hearted thanks and gratitude for having the interest, intestinal fortitude and diligence in persisting to maintain heightened awareness and to keep at this issue until conclusion.
Very respectfully yours,
Tom & Liz S