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Urgent Red Alert/Help prohibit all types of shale fracking in New York/LPG fracking decision could be imminent

Please sign arguably our most important coalition letter yet. I cannot overemphasize how critical this letter is:


Since last December 17th, New Yorkers have been told over and over that shale fracking is banned in our state. As I will document herein, that is definitely not true. On the contrary, Marcellus Shale fracking could begin any day.

The Problem

Based on a huge trove of previously secret documents that I just obtained through Freedom of Information, it is now painfully clear that Governor Cuomo has not banned all forms of shale fracking in New York. The reality is that the high-volume hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) prohibition has been deliberately drafted with more holes than Swiss cheese.

The Department of Environmental Conservation specifically exempted "gelled propane" or Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and all other non-water "environmentally-friendly" fracking methods from the definition of HVHF adopted by the Findings Statement issued on June 29, 2015. This was not an oversight.

Unbeknownst to the public, DEC received a "gelled propane" permit application for Tioga County on April 24, 2015, two months before the Findings Statement was issued. That means DEC knew its HVHF definition could open the door to LPG fracking.

This was done even though the Findings Statement concluded that LPG and other "environmentally friendly" fracking methods, "all fail to limit unavoidable adverse environmental impacts and fail to address the risks and uncertainties of high-volume hydraulic fracturing."

Even worse, the HVHF definition has a second and potentially bigger loophole. The HVHF prohibition only applies to "the stimulation of a well using 300,000 or more gallons of water as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for all stages in a well completion (emphasis added)"

This raises the extremely troubling concern that HVHF might be permissible if only one stage in a well completion uses less than 300,000 gallons of water-based fracking fluid.

Our Backs Are Now Up Against the Wall

Our July coalition letter which requested that Governor Cuomo prohibit LPG fracking pending an environmental impact assessment pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) did not receive a favorable reply. Similar requests also were not fulfilled. There can be no question that our backs are now up against the wall on this issue.

All summer long, the firms proposing to frack Marcellus Shale with LPG in Tioga County have been super busy trying to gain approval for their project. You will be shocked by the amount of effort underway:

The Solution: Require a Supplemental Findings Statement

We do not have a moment to lose. A decision on LPG fracking could happen any day.

We must require the HVHF definition to be expanded to prohibit all types of shale fracking in New York. This can be achieved by requiring DEC to issue a Supplemental Findings Statement. A Supplemental Findings Statement is permissible by law. A Supplemental Findings Statement was issued for the 1992 Generic Environmental Impact Statement.

The HVHF definition must be amended in two ways. First, it must apply to the use of "water or any other substances" as the base fluid for hydraulic fracking. Second, the "high-volume" definition hydraulic fracking must be reduced from 300,000 or more gallons for all stages of a well completion to 5,000 or more gallons for any stage of a well completion.

Given those concerns, New York's far stronger definition of HVHF should be:

"High-volume hydraulic fracturing is defined as the stimulation of a well using 5,000 [300,000] or more gallons of water or any other substances as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for any [all] stage[s]in a well completion, regardless of whether the well is vertical or directional, including horizontal, in Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs. The 5,000 [300,000]-gallon threshold is the sum of all water or any other substances, fresh and recycled, used for any [all] stage[s] in a well completion. Well stimulation requiring less than 5,000 [300,000] gallons of water or any other substances as the base fluid for hydraulic fracturing for any [all] stage[s] in a well completion is not considered high-volume, and will continue to be reviewed and permitted pursuant to the 1992 GEIS, and 1992 and 1993 Findings Statements, but not for Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs."

What You Can Do

Sign the New Coalition Letter TODAY. Get everyone you know to become signatories:

Persuade as many groups as possible to become signatories. DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!!!

Call Governor Cuomo during business hours at 518 474 8390 to request that DEC issue a Supplemental Findings Statement to prohibit all types of shale fracking in New York.

Hold the Governor to his promise that: DEC "will not establish a high-volume hydraulic fracturing permitting program; that no individual or site-specific permit applications for wells using high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be processed; and that high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be prohibited in New York State."


Many pundits earlier declared that gelled propane" fracking in Tioga County is only a "publicity stunt." It is now perfectly clear that a lot of money is being spent, a serious law firm is working hard to gain permit approvals and administrative events are moving full-steam ahead.

Other pundits declared that no firms could make money fracking for gas in New York State, so we had nothing to worry about. Obviously some firms disagree.

Pundits also noted that the firm which proposed to do the LPG fracking was bankrupt. That firm has now been bought and is back in business. The new owner reportedly said, "companies seem interested in rekindling waterless fracking efforts elsewhere." Like New York?

I implore you to take nothing for granted. Please take further focused action to prohibit all types of shale fracking in New York before it is too late.

Thanks so much for your assistance.



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