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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

Joel Chaffee
500 West 122nd St, 1H
New York, New York
R Goodhart
box 744
Gulderland, NY
eli pepper
22 park trail
croton, NY
Susan Deer
Michael Twomey
Citizens' Climate Lobby
16 John St.
Ithaca, NY
Jo Ellen del Campo
43 Hillcrest Dr.
Alfred, NY
Richard Maxwell
34 Turkey Hill Rd.
Dryden, NY
Barbara Monroe
708 Neighborhood Rd.
Lake Katrine, New York
Mark Brody
166 Edwardsen Rd.
Canajoharie, NY
Mary Thorpe
Co-Director of NYPAN of the Southern Finger Lakes
1220 Langford Creek Road
Van Etten, NY
Ivan Binkerd-Dale
392 Locke Rd
Groton, New York
Mary Smith
Communications Coordinator
Church Women United in New York State
2001 S Clinton Ave
Rochester, NY
Patricia Heckart
24 Elm St
Trumansburg, NY
Paul Stearns
141 Sodom Rd
Ithaca, New York
Jon McKenze
Ithaca, NY
Toby Stover
Founding member
Rochester Defense Against Fracking
81 Clove Valley Road
High Falls, NY
Williams Taffy
po box 223
Tuckahoe, NY
Anne Hemenway
Earth Guardians NY
PO Box 206
Woodstock, NY
Frank Zgola
1140 Ellis Hollow Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Jean-Luc Jannink
226 Valley Road
Ithaca, NY
Cynthia Stevens
226 Valley Road
Ithaca, NY
Bart Auble
Ithaca City School District
304 Comstock Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Mike Shuster
Holly Adams
270 Burns Rd
Brooktondale, NY
Elizabeth Wolff
5 Canaan Rd
Brooktondale , NY
Caroline Levine
4 The byway
, Ithaca
Diane Stein
40 Harrison St., Apt. 15A
New York, NY
Peggy Bartels
6927 Valley View rd.
Clinton, New York
Jonathan Plotkin
711 N Tioga St
Ithaca, NY
Laura Purdy
75 Turkey Hill rd
Ithaca, NY
Fred Conner
710 Irish Settlement Rd
Freeville, NY
Annette Levine
Associate Professor
Ithaca College
232 Valley Rd
Ithaca, New York
john valentine
mohawk valley keeper
box 24
fort plain, new york
Jaya Branscum
118 First St.
Ithaca, NEW YORK
Beth Olearczyk, MD
87 Pioneer Street
Cooperstown, New York
Ronald Lytel
87 Pioneer Street
Cooperstown, New York
Leslie Brack
117 elmwood ave
Ithaca, NY
Briana Binkerd-Dale
Ithaca, NY
Mary Hausauer
540 W 47th St
New York, NY
Marlene Barken
Ithaca College
125 Genung Circle
Ithaca, New York
Gloria Foster
Retired School Social Worker
3906 Chatham Ln
Canandaigua, NY
Kelly Branigan
Founding member
Middlefield Neighbors
467 Springfield Hill Rd.
Cooperstown, NY
Monica Daniel
253 N Applegate Rd
Ithaca, NY
David Barken
125 Genung Circle
Ithaca, NY
Martha Scoppa
32 Cold Spring Road
Liberty, NY
Melissa Stephenson
77 Peruville Road
Lansing, NY
judith ackerman
636 wea
nyc, ny
John Saylor
Cornell University
261 Canaan Rd
Brooktondale, NY
Sarah Ambe
506 Spencer Rd
Ithaca, NY