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Coalition Sign-on Letter Requesting Enforcement of Dryden's 5/24/17 Letter to Dominion Transmission Inc and the Town's Public Utility Approval Moratorium

Honorable Jason Leifer
Dryden Town Supervisor
93 East Main Street
Dryden NY 13053

Re: Immediate Enforcement of Town of Dryden's 5/25/17 Letter to Dominion Transmission Inc and the Town's Public Utility Approval Moratorium


We, the undersigned, write to request that the Town of Dryden immediately revoke the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and the Building Permit that it approved for the proposed expansion of the Dominion New Market Pipeline Borger Compressor Station located at 219 Ellis Hollow Creek Road.

The Town publicly announced on May 25, 2017 that it would revoke these local approvals and require a Special Use Permit for the proposed project, but reportedly failed to take those actions according to Town authorities.

See: Dryden Town Supervisor 5/24/17 Letter to Dominion Transmission Inc. Regarding Revocation of Local Approvals for New Market Pipeline

We request that the Town fulfill our requests given the letter and spirit of a Public Utility Approval Moratorium that remains in-force until at least July 20, 2017. We also request that no moratorium waiver be granted to Dominion and no Special Use Permit be issued for the proposed Borger expansion because the facility is toxic-contaminated, cannot fulfill Town Zoning Law requirements and is utterly incompatible with Dryden's comprehensive land use plan for that area.

See: Local Law–Moratorium–Public utilities - Town of Dryden

Our request is based on the following well-documented rationalizations:

1. Proposed Borger Expansion Requires Special Use Permit Proceeding

Dryden wrote Dominion Transmission Inc. regarding the Borger facility expansion that: "Section 501 of the Town's Zoning Law states that public utility facilities require a special use permit in the Conservation zone, where this facility is located. The Zoning Law does not state when facility modifications will require special use permit amendments. Because Dominion's 1984 special use permit was specifically for compressor building and control building extensions, it does not cover any modifications made to the site after that date.

Absent criteria in the Zoning Law that spell out when special use permit amendments are needed/not needed, any proposed changes to the site require a special use permit amendment. The special use permit process is in place to assure that the use will not adversely affect the neighborhood. Because the Town Board looks only at the application before it, it cannot and does not make a pre-determination that any facility, no matter how large it gets or how many changes are made to it, will never adversely affect the neighborhood. Many other municipalities require amended special use permit applications for modified projects.

The Town did not require Dominion to obtain amended special use permits for post-1984 Borger Station modifications. However, there is a principle that there is no estoppel against the government, which means that even if a municipality misapplied its zoning law in the past, it is not estopped from applying it correctly in the future."

2. Dryden Public Utility Approval Moratorium Must be Strictly Enforced

It is shocking that the Town of Dryden failed to enforce its own Public Utility Approval Moratorium with regard to the proposed Borger expansion even though it is specifically prohibited according to the Town's own letter to Dominion:

"However, as Dominion is a public utility, special use permit and site plan applications for the project are covered by the Town's public utility moratorium because more than one acre would be disturbed. Dominion could apply to the Town Board for a waiver or wait for the moratorium to expire, which is currently set for July 20, 2017."

Dryden's Public Utility Approval Moratorium bars the Borger expansion because it prohibits:

"Acceptance, consideration, preliminary approval or final approval by the Town of Dryden Town Board of any site plan or special use permit for new or modified public utility infrastructure (including, without limitation, pipelines, pipes, mains, and conduits), that involves an area of land disturbance associated with the public utility infrastructure of one or more acres."

In addition, the Public Utility Approval Moratorium prohibits: "The issuance of building permits by a Town of Dryden Code Enforcement Officer in connection with any activity prohibited hereunder."

We further request that no public utility moratorium waiver be granted for the Borger compressor station expansion project and that the public utility moratorium be extended until all of the toxic pollution concerns documented at the proposed Borger Compressor Station are comprehensively remediated in strict compliance with all applicable state standards.

This request is supported by the goal of the moratorium: "The Town Board will be considering the following Town of Dryden Comprehensive Plan goals, among others, to determine whether Zoning Law amendments are needed to help assure that public utility projects are consistent with such goals: protect and advance the quality of life of residents; protect the unique natural assets of the Town;"

We also request that no approvals can be granted at this time for the Borger expansion project because:

"The Town Board is concerned that any new legislation would be subverted if public utility infrastructure projects that disturb a significant amount of land... were to be entertained and possibly approved before the Town Board considers legislation to address these issues."

3. Proposed Borger Expansion Conflicts With Town Sustainability Goals

Finally, the Town of Dryden has announced that it is taking action to "Create an action plan to implement practices, activities, and policies that will support the achievement of sustainability goals" in order to "integrate sustainability principles into Town policy and decision-making activities to guide the Town of Dryden towards the measurement and achievement of a sustainable future..."


Given that lofty goal, it makes no sense whatsoever for the Town of Dryden to grant any local approvals for a massive fracked gas pipeline expansion project that would pose on-going toxic contamination threats to the rural, residential neighborhood around the Borger Compressor Station while perpetuating Dryden and New York State's addiction to fossil fuels for decades to come.

We believe that those actions would be totally contrary to the Town's avowed sustainability goals and must not be permitted.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our respectful request.

Yours very truly,

Total Signatory Count: 410

Walter Hang
215 N. Cayuga St
Ithaca, NY
John Miller
Professor Emeritus
Cornell University
298 Bald Hill Road
Brooktondale, NY
Theodore Burger
3370 Woodbridge Circle
Bethlehem, PA
Stephen Singer
445 Ferguson Rd
Freeville, New York
Ingrid Guiter
1430 County Highway 8
Otego, NY
Penny Baron
445 Ferguson Rd
Freeville, New York
Douglas Knipple
Finger Lakes ZeroWaste Coalition, Inc.
44 Madison Ter
Rochester, New York
Nathan Richardson
Rep Studio
519 Willow Ave
Ithaca, NY
Clayton Smith
1633 Lexington Ave #5
New York, NY
Robert Moore
Ex-Chapter President
708B Plymouth Drive
Lakewood, NJ
Stephen Engleman
Registered Nurse
125 Valley View Rd
Ithaca, NY
Jonathan Culler
909 Wyckoff Road
Ithaca, NY
Hannah Kahn
Circus Educator
Former student/ Dryden Elementary school
540 Alabama st.
San francisco, CA.
William Wakefield
P O Box 393
DeRuyter, NY
Carey Harben
Founder/ Director
Nature Girl Productions
5885 rt 79
Trumansburg, New York
Daniel Belliveau
95 Lafayette Ave
Geneva, NY
David Ethridge
215 Bryant Ave
Ithaca , C
Judith Hyman
Enfield Neighbors for Save Air and Water (ENSAW)
632 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY
Elaine Hardman
3180 Route 19
Wellsville, NY
Charles Greene
311 Walnut Street
Ithaca, NY
Conor Gaffney
Spoken Glass
12667 Dewey st.
Los Angeles, CA
Kora von Wittelsbach
127 Klarman Hall, Cornell
Ithaca, NY 14853
Neil Freson
26 Bitternell Lane
Henrietta, NY
Leslie Gold
40 Downing St.
Julia Morgan
234 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Daniel Ripperton
323 Rachel Carson Trail
Ithaca, NY
Maryanne Adams
Conservation Chair
Onondaga Audubon Society
10757 State Route 34
Cato, NY
Devin Henry
90 W University St
Alfred, NY
Dennis Turechek
392 Hathaway Road
Otego, NY
Elaine Shuster
61 Stewart Ave - Unit 311
Newburgh, NY
Milford Doers/Residents of Crumhorn Mtn
486 Burrillo Rd
Maryland , NY 12116
Joan Farber
400 West 23rd St
New York, NY
Terry Cuddy
Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
133 S. Hoopes Ave
Auburn, NY
Richard Johnsen
343 Raymond Fish Rd.
Hartwick, NY
Wendy Wakula
377 Hunts Corner road
Marathon, NY
Melissa Bishop
Catskilll Citizens for Safe Energy
72 Elm St.
Deposit, NY
Carolyn Fellman
15 Park St.
Moravia, NY
Lou Priem
276 Van Yahres Rd
Cooperstown, NY
Susan Sarabasha
Toxics Targetting
311 Tupper Rd
W Danby, NY
Katherine Adams
236 East 13th Street apt14
New York, NY
Lesley Adams
6200 Mount Rd.
Tburg, NY
Patricia Goldsmith
205 Schneider Road, none
Hudson, New York
Gary Hodges
Toxics Targeting
920 Snyder Hill Rd.,
Ithaca, NY
Camille Doucet
30 Marsh Rd
Ithaca, NY
Belinda Howell
P O Box 6845
Ithaca, NY
Robyn Bem
3 Ringwood Court West
Ithaca, NY
elizabeth path
25 elm ave
homer, ny
Joel Wysong
2675 Agard Road
Trumansburg, NY
Maria Studer
127 Springtime Lane West
Levittown, NY
John McClelland
Spring Meadows Farm
139 School St..
Millerton, PA