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Withdraw Revised Draft SGEIS Coalition Letter/de facto Moratorium Pledge Request

To: Members of the DEC High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel
From: Walter Hang
Re: Coalition Letter and de facto Moratorium Pledge Request


I write to provide a self-explanatory coalition letter which requests that Governor Cuomo immediately withdraw the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Marcellus Shale Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (RD SGEIS) because it fundamentally fails to fulfill the requirements of Executive Order No. 41 and cannot assure that horizontal hydrofracturing will be done "safely" in New York's tight shale formations.

The coalition letter now has more than 21,000 signatories, including Government Officials; Physicians, Scientists and Health Professionals; Environmental, Civic and Public Interest Organizations; Wineries, Tourism and Other Businesses; Farmers and Agricultural Organizations and Citizens.

I invite you to review the coalition letter and to become a signatory:

There is a de facto moratorium on horizontal hydrofracturing in New York’s Marcellus Shale pending adoption of a Final SGEIS. DEC's 2009 Draft SGEIS received such withering criticism that Governor Paterson signed Executive Order No. 41 requiring DEC to: “make such revisions to the Draft SGEIS that are necessary to analyze comprehensively the environmental impacts associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling, ensure that such impacts are appropriately avoided or mitigated …” On 1/1/11, Governor Cuomo signed a “continuation” of that Order.

The coalition letter documents that the RD SGEIS is factually incorrect, incomplete and inadequate to safeguard New York from horizontal hydrofracturing. It documents long-standing regulatory enforcement problems as well as at least 16 critical shortcomings identified by Region 2 of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), academic researchers, local officials, environmental groups and citizens.

Given those profound inadequacies, I request that you sign the following de facto Moratorium Pledge as a member of the above-referenced committee:

Given the irreparable harm that shale gas extraction could wreak on New York's environment and public health, DEC's de facto moratorium on Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracturing must be maintained until there is a consensus among all local, state and federal authorities as well as potentially impacted parties that the 17 major shortcomings documented in the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS Coalition Letter have been fully resolved.

Member, DEC High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel.
Date: ______________________

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the coalition letter or the de facto moratorium pledge. Thank you for your consideration.

I look forward to your prompt response.

Very truly yours.