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Updated Marcellus Shale Citizen Alert



I am shocked and extremely pleased to inform you that nearly 6,500 citizens, elected officials and environmental organizations have signed the coalition letter requesting Governor Paterson to withdraw the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) for Marcellus Shale Horizontal Drilling and Hydrofracking. Our goal is now 10,000 signatories.

The coalition letter has received extensive media coverage, including tv and front-page articles in the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier and Central New York:

The governor is reportedly being deluged with emails, phone calls and faxes. Keep pushing the governor to withdraw the dSGEIS. The comment period ends 12/31/09.

Urge your family, friends, colleagues and elected representatives to take immediate action. Forward this email or post our Contact the Governor page on your preferred social networking site:

I have attached a Town of Ithaca Resolution supporting withdrawal of the dSGEIS. It passed unanimously Monday. The Town of Enfield unanimously adopted a revised version of the resolution. Many thanks to the honorable Rich Depaolo, Town of Ithaca Board Member and author of the excellent resolution.

After you persuade everyone you know to sign the coalition letter plus email and phone Governor Paterson, you can consider trying to persuade your local City, Town or Village officials to adopt a resolution in favor of withdrawing the dSGEIS.

Thanks for all your help.


Onward and upward,

Walter Hang

Email Governor David A. Paterson: governor@chamber.state.

Please bcc: so we can maintain a record of all contacts.

Call or write the governor:

State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
518-474-8390 (o)
518-474-1513 (Fax)

Make the following points succinctly and emphatically:

  1. Governor Paterson must immediately withdraw the draft Supplemental GEIS because it is utterly inadequate to safeguard New York's environment and public health.
  2. The Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) own spill reports document existing regulations have failed to prevent or to require the clean up of hundreds of natural gas and oil drilling problems involving fires, explosions, polluted drinking water wells, home evacuations and massive drilling wastewater releases. DEC must not issue new gas drilling permits until those regulatory concerns have been fully resolved. That is why the Supplemental GEIS review must be restarted.
  3. The draft SGEIS totally fails to propose a safe method of managing natural gas drilling wastewater and hydrofracking fluid. It simply leaves that task to localities. Improper management of natural gas drilling wastewater has already caused massive toxic pollution impacts. The SGEIS must solve this disposal problem before new natural gas drilling permits are issued.
  4. DEC is woefully understaffed to cope with existing natural gas drilling problems. Only 17 staff are available to regulate nearly 7,000 existing natural gas wells. New gas drilling permits must not be issued until the SGEIS solves this problem.
  5. The SGEIS fails to address critical issues associated with strict clean up liability, natural gas spill reporting, private right of legal action, insurance coverage and unfunded local government mandates. All those concerns must be addressed prior to the issuance of new gas drilling permits.
  6. Share your personal concerns with Governor Paterson. Please be respectful, but remember Governor Paterson has a duty to protect New York's natural resources and public health. That is why the draft SGEIS must be withdrawn.

Thank you for your assistance. Contact me if you have questions.

Coalition Letter sign-up:
The coalition letter's signatories can be viewed at:
Marcellus Shale Section:

11/10/09 DEMOCRACY NOW!:

Watchdog: New York State Regulation of Natural Gas Wells Has Been "Woefully Insufficient for Decades."

The New York-based Toxics Targeting went through the Department of Environmental Conservation's own database of hazardous substances spills over the past thirty years. They found 270 cases documenting fires, explosions, wastewater spills, well contamination and ecological damage related to gas drilling. Many of the cases remain unresolved. The findings are contrary to repeated government assurances that existing natural gas well regulations are sufficient to safeguard the environment and public health. The state is considering allowing for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale watershed, the source of drinking water for 15 million people, including nine million New Yorkers.

11/16/09 WHCU Interview With Walter Hang About Marcellus Gas Drillng

Natural gas quest: State files show 270 drilling accidents in past 30 years
By Tom Wilber
November 8, 2009

The state's depiction of a clean, tightly regulated natural gas industry just got a shot of muck in the eye.

As the debate over the merits of Marcellus Shale development reaches a crescendo, an Ithaca researcher has culled a list of 270 files documenting wastewater spills, well contamination, explosions, methane migration and ecological damage related to gas production in the state since 1979.

Walter Hang, president of Toxic Targeting, compiled the files using the Department of Environmental Conservation's own hazard substances spills database.