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Gulf Oil Spill Hazards and Marcellus Shale


Toxics Targeting just wrote President Obama to document massive historic oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico involving BP, Shell, Texaco, Chevron, Conoco and other firms. Prior to 2009, more than 550,000 barrels (approximately 23,000,000 gallons) of crude oil and other materials were reportedly spilled according to federal records.

Critical aspects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster had been experienced earlier at other major spill sites. As a result, the unfolding Gulf catastrophe was foreseeable and should have been prevented.


My letter also alerted President Obama to the strong concerns voiced by EPA Region 2 regarding DEC's proposed Marcellus Shale regulations. I urged the President to take immediate action to make sure New York's groundwaters do not suffer a toxic fate similar to the oil-devastated Gulf.


My second letter to the President will be posted shortly along with more oil spill data.

Marcellus Shale Advocacy

We continue to bring unprecedented pressure to bear on Commissioner Grannis, Governor Paterson and Region 2 Adminstrator Enck to withdraw the draft SGEIS. Thank you all for the thousands of contacts you have made. I can assure you that we are exerting a powerful force on key decision makers.

A Tompkins County legislator who believes it is important to "educate" officials about Marcellus Shale concerns recently traveled to Albany with several academics, a planner and an attorney to meet with Comissioner Grannis, Executive Deputy Commissioner Gruskin and Deputy Commissioner Washington.

The Commissioner reportedly started off the meeting with some remarks about visiting Ithaca last spring to commend Cornell for switching its power plant from coal to natural gas. He later became demonstrably upset, was rudely dismissive and asserted that nothing was good enough for Tompkins County residents regarding Marcellus Shale safeguards. He reportedly was "shaking with anger."

I believe that encounter speaks volumes about our advocacy effectiveness and the challenges we face. We have made stupendous progress, but we still have to overcome very tough opposition.

Keep Pushing to Withdraw the draft SGEIS

The tragedy in the Gulf drives home the need to adopt strong regulatory and financial safeguards before drilling is allowed to proceed. As a result, environmental authorities in New York are increasingly hard-pressed to guarantee that the much-criticized draft SGEIS can prevent similar catastrophic contamination problems.

Nevertheless, DEC is moving forward to adopt a final proposal. DEC has repeatedly stated its intention to finish the comment review by the end of the year. Commissioner Grannis has emphasized that DEC will not wait for EPA's hydrofracking study to be completed and will not be bound by its findings. With all respect, nothing I have heard persuades me that legislation will be enacted in the short run to alter that reality.

Given that scenario, I implore you all to stay focused on withdrawing the draft SGEIS. Keep hammering away. Pour it on. Thanks for your help.

Best regards,

Walter Hang

Immediately call and email Commissioner Grannis, Governor Paterson and Region 2 Administrator Enck.

Say DEC's proposal is unfair, inadequate and unacceptable.

Demand withdrawal of the draft SGEIS. It must be fundamentally revised to protect all New Yorkers.

EPA must "stand its ground" and not allow DEC to adopt a fundamentally flawed regulatory proposal that has no hope of being enforced.

Use this email:

DEC Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Grannis:
518-402-8545 (o)
Please bcc: so we can maintain a record of all contacts.

EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck
212-637-5000 (o)
Please bcc: so we can maintain a record of all contacts.

Governor David Paterson
518-474-8390 (o)
Please bcc: so we can maintain a record of all contacts.