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Video of Reported Hydrofracking Victim



I write to urge you to watch a short interview with a family in Andover/Independence, NY reportedly impacted by hydrofracking of oil/gas wells directly across the road from where they live. Their home in Allegany County is surrounded by more than 500 oil and gas wells. See:

I documented that U. S. Energy Development Corp. confirmed in writing that petroleum was identified in drinking water reportedly impacted by hydrofracking. The firm also confirmed that it paid for the family to stay in a hotel due to high methane gas levels in their home, provided a carbon water filter for their polluted well and offered to compensate the family. The documentation can be viewed at:

Both the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the local County Health Department failed to investigate and remediate the family's problems. This family's experience could be a harbinger for communities throughout the Marcellus Shale formation.

Withdrawing the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (draft SGEIS) is New York's best hope for continuing its de facto Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracking moratorium. Nearly 10,000 elected officials, local, state and national environmental groups, businesses and concerned citizens support that strategy.

I implore you to a) find more signatories for the coalition letter that requests the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn and b) call and email DEC Commissioner Grannis, Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 Administrator Enck and Governor Paterson to request the draft's withdrawal.

I have been doing environmental advocacy and organizing for more than 30 years in New York. Please do not waste your time lobbying dead one-house bills, blogging about problems in other states or raising false hopes about EPA's hydrofracking study. The New York Legislature cannot even pass a budget. EPA does not issue gas drilling permits in New York and has been studying oil and gas drilling hazards since 1990. Congress is similarly stalemated.

Meanwhile, DEC is working hard each and every day to adopt an SGEIS. If that happens, drilling permits are likely to be issued shortly thereafter even if legal challenges are undertaken.

Focus on pressuring DEC Commissioner Grannis and Governor Paterson to send the draft SGEIS back to the drawing board due to its fundamental flaws. That is the most important work you can do to safeguard New York's environment.

Many thanks to the Town of Dryden for unanimously adopting a resolution calling for the draft SGEIS to be withdrawn. Thanks to Cortland and Dutchess Counties for considering resolutions to withdraw the draft SGEIS. Please take similar action in other communities.

Onward and upward,

Walter Hang