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Urgent Marcellus Shale Citizen Alert - Urgent Marcellus Shale Citizen Alert

Urgent Marcellus Shale Citizen Alert - Urgent Marcellus Shale Citizen Alert


I urge you to take immediate action to support a coalition letter requesting Governor Paterson to withdraw the Department of Environmental Conservation's Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) for Oil and Gas Mining.

I believe this is the best way to prevent high-volume, horizontal well hydrofracking hazards in New York's Marcellus Shale region. You can sign the letter at

The Problem

New York's Catskills, Fingers Lakes and the Southern Tier regions overlay the Marcellus Shale formation, potentially the largest natural gas reserve in the country. Obtaining that gas requires "slickwater" hydrofracking of horizontal wells, a process that generates huge volumes of wastewater contaminated with toxic and radioactive materials.

Governor Paterson imposed a de facto moratorium on large-scale Marcellus gas production when he required DEC to withhold horizontal drilling permits until it updated its 1992 Oil, Gas and Solution Mining GEIS. The goal of that Supplemental GEIS (SGEIS) reportedly was "to ensure that all environmental impacts from drilling are addressed."

The fundamental premise of the Supplemental GEIS is that existing oil and gas regulations are adequate to safeguard the environment and the public health. That is why the scope of the SGEIS is limited to only three issues: water drawdown, increased time at drill sites and protection of New York City's reservoirs.

This week, Toxics Targeting released 270 DEC oil and gas spill reports that document fires, explosions, massive pollution releases, evacuated homes and widespread contamination of agricultural lands, aquifers, wetlands, streams, ponds and other waterways. Many of these hazards have not been cleaned up for decades.

The Solution

Given these serious problems, DEC must go back to the drawing board to develop effective regulations to prevent and remediate gas drilling hazards in a timely fashion. Unless and until that happens, the current gas drilling moratorium must be maintained.

What You Can Do

Concerned citizens, elected officials and representatives of environmental, conservation and community organizations are invited to sign the coalition letter at

You can also view videos of oil and gas problems, legal documents, newsclips and a PDF of the 270 DEC oil and gas spill profiles.

Most importantly, you can use a free Internet Map Server to check for aquifers, regulated freshwater wetlands, impaired waterbodies, structurally deficient bridges and many other "sensitive receptors" that might be impacted by gas drilling near your home or community.

I urge you to circulate this alert as widely as feasible. Ask your elected officials and community leader to sign it. If you would like me to make a presentation to your group, please let me know.

If you care to comment on the dSGEIS, you have until 12/31/09. I believe, however, that the extremely limited scope of the document renders it all but meaningless. If it is adopted, horizontal permits could be issued soon thereafter.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

Walter Hang
Toxics Targeting, Inc.