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Moratorium Bill Vetoed/Historic Executive Order Just Issued


As you probably know, the Marcellus Shale mini-moratorium bill was vetoed by Governor Paterson late Saturday.

More importantly, the Governor today issued "Executive Order No. 41: Requiring Further Environmental Review." His order bars Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking permits until a second draft SGEIS is issued, public comment is accepted and a report is submitted to the Governor regarding "the regulatory conditions that are necessary to include in oil and gas well permits to protect public health and the environment."

This is a clear acknowledgment of the draft SGEIS' fundamental shortcomings. I believe this is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY to address the woeful inadequacies of the existing draft. I believe this is an historic day in the Marcellus Shale fight.

The Executive Order's key requirement is: "The Department shall complete its review of the public comments, make such revisions to the Draft SGEIS that are necessary to analyze comprehensively (emphasis added) the environmental impacts associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling, ensure that such impacts are appropriately avoided or mitigated consistent with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), other provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law and other laws, and ensures that adequate regulatory measures are identified to protect public health and the environment;"

You can read the Executive Order at:

I believe the Executive Order plainly requires DEC to expand the original scope of the SGEIS proceeding. I believe we might have effectively achieved what we have been fighting for during the last year.

At a minimum, this will allow us to spell out in excruciating detail how DEC should go about fulfilling Governor Paterson's Executive Order.

See below the note that I sent to the Second Floor late Friday night when there was a glimmer of hope that the Governor might be willing to do more to safeguard New Yorkers from Marcellus Shale gas hazards. He might have responded favorably to my request.

Thank you all for your stupendous work. Keep your fingers crossed.




Thanks for all your hard work down the homestretch.

Send the draft SGEIS back to the drawing board with a new scope and you would safeguard New York State in a truly meaningful and unprecedented way. You would provide a way to sort out the brutal funding and regulatory problems at DEC, particularly regarding wastewater issues that were excluded from the original scope.

For the first time in New York history, environmental disaster could be prevented. The Governor just spoke to that issue. No other extraction mining state has ever been so sensible.

Reference the EPA letter. The concerns EPA expressed in its 12/30/09 letter were never voiced at the beginning of the process. See:

The Governor could work with Judith. I am sure she would want to help.

More than 10,000 would sing the Governor's praises. I would assist as best I can. The key players could show up in person if need be to provide support.

I know full-well what I have proposed would require heavy lifting, but I you never know, eh?

Call to confer if need be. I am open to suggestion.

Happy Holidays.

Best regards,