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The New York Times Covers Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling Wastewater/Hold Onto Your Hats


I am very pleased to let you know that The New York Times is about to cover the issue of Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracturing wastewater in unprecedented fashion. The first story of a three-part series by Ian Urbina was just posted at: It should appear on the front page of Sunday's paper.

The reporting will address many critical issues that were excluded from the scope of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement. It will release documents that you will find simply shocking. It should generate intense political driving force to revise the draft SGEIS "comprehensively" as required by Executive Order No. 41.

A 2008 drinking water crisis is documented that affected more than 850,000 residents along the Monongahela River near Pittsburgh. When New York imposed its de facto Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracturing moratorium, many firms went to drill in Pennsylvania. Municipal treatment plants were accepting up to 40% of their influent as natural gas drilling wastewater even though they were not equipped to handle that type of waste. So much Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) pollution was discharged in the Monongahela River that the water became unpotable. A 70-mile stretch of the river was impacted.

In the coming days, Toxics Targeting will post documents related to this incident as well as key regulatory decisions related to the fatally flawed draft SGEIS.

You can view a video of me explaining some of these issues at:

I believe managing massive quantities of contaminated gas drilling wastewater could be the Achilles' heel of Marcellus Shale gas. We must make sure Governor Cuomo requires the scope of the draft SGEIS to be expanded to include wastewater concerns as well as other fracking hazards that only recently came to light.

This is the moment of truth. Please sign the Cuomo Coaltion Letter if you have not already done so. Find as many other signatories as feasible:

Then 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)
Onward and upward. Thank you for your help. Hold onto your hat.