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Third gas drilling wastewater article in NYT series posted


The third article in Ian Urbina's NYT epic gas drilling wastewater series has just been posted at:

You will be shocked by what you read. It addresses the politics of Marcellus Shale horizontal hydofracturing. As you will see below, EPA recommended a gas drilling moratorium in the New York City watershed and then did not mention it in its final comments to DEC about the draft SGEIS. It also proposed to allow gas drilling so DEC could gain "experience with regulating hydraulic hydrofracturing activities in less sensitive areas."

See excerpt below:

I have posted a compilation of key documents at:

I am sending Governor Cuomo a letter regarding those documents and reiterating my request to expand the scope of the draft SGEIS. It is posted at:

Keep pressuring Governor Cuomo, EPA Region 2 Administrator Enck and Acting DEC Commissioner Martens.



Please note the following excerpt from Attachment D:

Regional Administrator Briefing
Preliminary Discussion of NYS DEC Marcellus Shales (stet) draft SGEIS
December 4, 2009

Page 2:

Public Policy Issues – Suggested Positions for RA review

1) Region 2 is concerned about the potential for widespread, intensive gas drilling activities in the New York City watershed (emphasis added). As a signatory to the 1997 New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement, we strongly support one of its major tenets – that watershed protection and community vitality can be achieved concurrently. However, the potential for intensive gas drilling in the watershed poses new challenges that did not exist when the MOA signatories agreed on a common vision. Despite the important mitigation measures already proposed by NYSDEC in the draft SGEIS, we have serious reservations about whether intensive gas drilling is consistent with the vision of long-term maintenance of a high quality unfiltered water supply. We agree with the sentiments recently expressed by Acting Commissioner Steven Lawitts of the NYCDEP, who noted that the New York City watersheds deserve State protection, and that a precautionary approach is appropriate at this time (emphasis added).

To address this concern, Region 2 recommends a moratorium on drilling in the New York City watershed so that NYSDEC may gain experience with regulating high volume hydraulic fracturing activities in less sensitive areas (emphasis added). If experience demonstrates that drilling can occur without adverse impacts, then the moratorium could be replaced with a phased permitting plan which would limit the intensity of drilling activity.


Call and email Governor Andrew Cuomo, EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck and DEC Commissioner Nominee Joseph Martens. Ask them to support:

Expanding the scope of the draft SGEIS to include additional concerns, notably how to manage gas drilling wastewater;

Establishing Citizens and Technical Advisory Committees to help DEC revise the draft SGEIS;

Providing at least 30 days public comment to identify additional issues to be included in the draft SGEIS scope;

Requiring individual EIS reviews for horizontal hydrofracturing permits, "GA effluent limitations" for hydrofracturing, deep well injection and wastewater treatment as well as updating DEC's 1992 GEIS.

Please bcc:

Governor Andrew Cuomo
518-474-8390 (o)
Judith Enck
212-637-5000 (o)
DEC Commissioner Nominee Joseph Martens
518-402-8545 (o)

Thanks for all your help.