Central New York Denied Fracking Hearings

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation

2013 East Genesee St. F Syracuse, NY 13210 ~  (315) 472-5478

noon@peacecouncil.net  ~  www.peacecouncil.net/noon

N E W S     R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 7, 2011

For more information:
Jack Ramsden, Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, 315-424-1454

 

Central New York Denied Fracking Hearings

 

Public Outraged at Being Shut Out of New York State’s Hearing Process

on Dirty Gas Drilling

(Syracuse, NY)—Governor Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released New York State’s draft fracking guidelines (officially known as the Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or “SGEIS”) and announced a public hearing schedule that does not include Central New York.  Representatives of ShaleshockCNY and residents concerned about the environmental impacts of dirty gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” are outraged that New York State does not plan to hold public hearings in the area, despite longstanding local interest and potential impacts.

“Residents of towns throughout Central New York are worried about the impacts of fracking and with good reason. All you need to do is look at what’s happened in Pennsylvania to know fracking is dangerous,” said Mary Menapace, a Skaneateles resident and member of ShaleshockCNY.  “Towns throughout CNY have a direct stake in how our state leaders decide to oversee fracking, as evidenced by the outpouring of effort by local citizens and town officials to enact safeguards in advance.  We’re concerned not just about fracking, but frack fluid disposal, truck traffic, water withdrawals, and the potential for gas, equipment, or chemical storage on the properties of landowners who signed boilerplate leases.  People here had no idea what they were signing, and need strong protection.”

Earlier this month, 76 organizations, including ShaleshockCNY and Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation, released a letter to Governor Cuomo and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Martens calling for a 180-day comment period along with public hearings in at least the same four areas where the agency held hearings on its 2009 draft fracking document—Binghamton, Sullivan County, New York City and Delaware County. The letter also called on state leaders to hold hearings in as many of the communities likely to be affected by fracking as possible, including but not limited to, places like Onondaga County.  Over 1900 parcels have been leased to gas companies by landowners in Onondaga County, according to research by the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation.

“We’re planning on holding a ‘SGEIS Study Session’ as part of our Evening of Fracking at the Palace Theater in Syracuse on Wednesday, September 21st,” explained Lindsay Speer, a community organizer who works with environmental groups on behalf of the Onondaga Nation, including ShaleshockCNY.   “While people will have the opportunity to talk about their concerns and work on their comments on the SGEIS there, we also need a real public hearing.  Public hearings are part of the democratic process and help make sure our concerns about fracking are recorded and delivered.”

To frack a gas well, millions of gallons of water, sand, and toxic chemicals are pumped deep underground at high pressure. This fractures the rock that has trapped the gas for millennia and allows it to escape. From start to finish, gas development that relies on fracking is an industrial process that threatens our water. State after state, from Wyoming to Pennsylvania, has documented its dangers. New York can’t afford to put short-term gas profits ahead of the long-term health of our water and our communities.

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ShaleshockCNY is part of the greater Shaleshock Action Alliance, a movement that works toward protecting our communities and environment from exploitative gas drilling. ShaleshockCNY aims to bring together the variety of people and groups working on the issue of hydrofracking so that we can share information and work to protect our communities.

Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON) is a grassroots organization of Central New Yorkers which recognizes and supports the sovereignty of the traditional government of the Onondaga Nation.  NOON supports, and collaborates with, the Onondaga Nation in their initiatives to promote environmental healing and restore respectful relationships between the governments of our Nations.


Lindsay Speer
Community Organizer
lspeer@mrss.com

716 E. Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

315.475.2559 (work)
315.383.7210 (cell)
315.475.2465 (fax)

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