It’s official: New York has banned fracking – Politics on the Hudson

It’s official: New York has banned fracking – Politics on the Hudson.



No evidence that DEC is attemptng to limit the expansion of the gas industry-pipelines, compressors, gathering lines that it finds detrimental to the environment.  This expansion proceeds unabated even without allowing high volume hydraulic fracturing.


In today’s official announcement of the ban on fracking in NYS by the DEC, there is also this passage, where the word “prohibit” is used:

“In the end, there are no feasible or prudent alternatives that would adequately avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts and that address the scientific uncertainties and risks to public health from this activity. The Department’s chosen alternative to prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the best alternative based on the balance between protection of the environment and public health and economic and social considerations.”

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 3:33 PM, Ellen Pope <> wrote:

There’s this, on p. 9 of the findings statement –




Ellen Pope

Executive Director

Otsego 2000, Inc.

PO Box 1130

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Tel:  607/547 8881


From: K. Shimberg []
Sent: Monday, June 29, 2015 3:30 PM
To: Ellen Pope
Cc:; Consternation PL; Protect Laurens
Subject: Re: [otsego-coalition] NYSDEC releases Findings Statement on Fracking


Thank you, Ellen!   —

Yessss!!   (For now, anyway.)

Does Cuomo make an official announcement now?

And thanks to the DEC and all the official & unofficial advisors w/ good science and good sense, and all the comment-&-letter-writers and rally organizers & attenders, bird-doggers, naggers, etc. — (all of us).

On to the 2 major interstate pipelines impending thru here awaiting DEC’s permitting or (we hope) denial, and bomb trains already travelling thru here as elsewhere, Seneca Lake unstable gas-storage caverns pending DEC final approval or reconsideration, PA’s HVHF waste trucked in to NYS landfills, and other adverse consequences still affecting NYS.  And FERC continues to rubber-stamp industry requests w/ inadequate “mitigation,” and our POTUS and DOE keep pushing nat-gas development.

So — We’re encouraged and cheered by DEC’s/Martens’s issuance of these Final SGEIS findings, which nicely spell out the problems and reasons for “No Action” anywhere in NYS on permitting the dangerous dragon.  But our work ain’t over!

   — Kathy S.

        Mt. Vision, NY  13810n



On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 2:07 PM, Ellen Pope <> wrote:

Hot off the presses.


Ellen Pope

Executive Director

Otsego 2000, Inc.

PO Box 1130

Cooperstown, NY 13326

Tel:  607/547 8881

Shale Gas Review: Leaked record, DEC response show NY fracking quandary Questions persist over scope and relevance of health study

Shale Gas Review: Leaked record, DEC response show NY fracking quandary Questions persist over scope and relevance of health study.

HIA process and request for information

Cuomo Letter Requests DOH Review to require public participation and investigation of extensive information not included in the Revised Draft SGEIS

Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224


I understand that your Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner, Dr. Nirav R. Shah, and three outside experts are conducting a “Review” of the “health impact analysis” in your Department of Environmental Conservation’s Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). I write today regarding that Review.

First, it is improper that the DOH Review is being undertaken in total secrecy without any public notice regarding the scope of the Review or any details about how it is being conducted. I request that this problem be immediately resolved by:

a) providing public notice about the intent and scope of the proposed DOH Review, how it is being conducted and other pertinent details about it;

b) requiring a 30-day minimum public comment period about the proposed DOH Review; and

c) holding at least one public hearing so that the DOH reviewers can hear testimony from interested parties.

Second, it is my understanding that the work of the three outside experts is contractually limited to a mere 25 hours. The Revised Draft SGEIS contains thousands of pages related to public health concerns. Hundreds of thousands of pages of written comments have been submitted about DEC’s failure to address public health concerns adequately. It is impossible for the reviewers to read or investigate all of this information in such a short period of time.

The DOH Review is critically important because neither a Final SGEIS nor any Revised Shale Gas Rulemaking reportedly will be adopted until it is completed. The DOH Review must be technically rigorous, comprehensive in scope as well as open and transparent. There must be no arbitrary time limit on the DOH Review, just as the SGEIS has no deadline for completion.

Given the obvious shortcomings of the current DOH Review, please re-open public comment on the Revised Draft SGEISto allow interested parties to provide input about how the DOH Review should be conducted. Such formal notification would help make sure that no Final SGEIS or Revised Shale Gas Rulemaking is adopted until after an adequate DOH Review is completed.

Until the shortcomings of the DOH Review have been fully resolved, DEC’s Shale Gas Revised Rulemaking Proceeding should be terminated. DEC’s rulemaking proposal should not have been revised before completion of the DOH Review and adoption of the Revised Draft SGEIS.

Third, the Revised Draft SGEIS received scathing criticism from hundreds of physicians, scientists, elected officials, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as more than 22,000 signatories to a coalition letter which requests that it be withdrawn and restarted to address 17 key concerns. See:

That is why limiting the DOH Review to the published Revised Draft SGEIS makes no sense. It is imperative that the reviewers also investigate all of the documented concerns. For that reason, I request that the reviewers be required to investigate all of the comments related to public health concerns in the Revised Draft SGEIS.

I specifically request that the reviewers investigate the detailed data compilation presented in Appendix A. It documents a wide spectrum of pollution incidents reported by DEC and local health authorities in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, including known drinking water contamination hazards, massive gas drilling wastewater discharges to the environment that were never remediated and still do not meet clean up standards as well as fires and explosions caused by gas and oil extraction activities across the areas of New York where those efforts have been prevalent.

Fourth, the foundation of DEC’s Revised Draft SGEIS and the Revised Shale Gas Rulemaking proceedings is that: “As a result of New York’s rigorous regulatory process, the types of problems reported to have occurred in states without such strong environmental laws and rigorous regulations haven’t happened here.

That critical assertion is factually incorrect. In order to safeguard public health and the environment, DEC and DOH must address the thousands of gas and oil extraction hazards documented by the data I have requested the reviewers to investigate.

Fifth, in order to assess the adequacy of the DEC’s “health impact analysis,” Dr. Shah and the three outside experts must determine whether DEC has achieved these fundamental requirements:

1) identified the full spectrum of toxic air, land and water contaminants resulting from shale gas fracking as well as conventional natural gas extraction;

2) documented the environmental fate and transport mechanisms involving those pollutants;

3) documented the long-term cumulative health impacts resulting from trace-level exposures to natural gas extraction pollutants in air, surface and ground water, drinking water and soil, including health impacts involving long latency periods; and

d) safeguarded New Yorkers from shale gas extraction hazards in fulfillment of applicable law.


In conclusion it is imperative that New York’s existing moratorium on shale gas fracking remain in effect until all the documented public health and environmental concerns brought to DOH and DEC’s attention have been fully addressed by the SGEIS and Revised Shale Gas Rulemaking proceedings. The plan of action I am proposing can make sure that goal is achieved.

In closing, I respectfully note that a new poll by Siena College found that Upstate New Yorkers oppose DEC going forward with Marcellus Shale gas fracking by a margin of 45% to 39%. Your administration’s shale gas efforts have clearly failed to inspire public confidence.

This should come as no surprise given the immense confusion, secrecy and inadequacy of DOH and DEC’s efforts. The reported proposal to allow limited shale gas fracking in five counties of the Southern Tier would also be discriminatory.

You have sworn an oath to protect all New Yorkers from environmental hazards, not just some New Yorkers. I know you take that obligation completely seriously.

Thank you for your service. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to meet to discuss these matters.

Very truly yours,

Walter L. T. Hang

Cc: 	Dr. Nirav R. Shah
        Richard Jackson, MD, MPH
        John Adgate, Ph.D., MSPH
        Lynn Goldman, MD, MS, MPH
        Honorable Barbara S. Lifton (125th AD)
        Honorable Matthew T. Ryan (Mayor of Binghamton, NY)
        Honorable Judith Enck (EPA Region 2 Administrator)
        Signatories to the Withdraw the Revised Draft SGEIS coalition letter
        Members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel

Appendix A: Toxics Targeting Compilation of Marcellus Shale Documents/Data

1) Coalition Letter To Governor Cuomo Requests Termination of DEC Shale Gas Rulemaking Proposal as well as a Restart of SGEIS Proceeding

2) Withdraw Revised Draft SGEIS in Order to Eliminate Unplugged and Abandoned Gas and Oil Well Hazards

3) Withdraw Revised Draft SGEIS in Order to Resolve Inadequate Public Health Assessment Concerns

4) Unplugged Gas/Oil Well Concerns Documented by DEC Division of Mineral Resources and Other NYS Authorities

5) DEC’s unplugged abandoned wells database & overview map

6) 9-26-12 Division of Mineral Resources Documented Oil and Gas Problems

7) 9/26/12 Letter to Governor Cuomo Documenting Decades of Division of Mineral Resources Enforcement Problems

8) Seventy Six Legislators Send Bipartisan Letter to Governor Cuomo Requesting That Six Critical Concerns to Be Fully Resolved Before Shale Gas Fracking is Permitted

9) New Coalition Letter to Governor Cuomo: Oppose a Possible Southern Tier Fracking Demonstration Project and Require Full Enforcement of Executive Order No. 41

10) USDA CE Memo

11) SEQR review requested for LPG shale gas hydraulic fracturing

12) Cuomo Request to address mortgage lending and gas leasing concerns in DEC’s SEQRA review of Marcellus Shale horizontal hydrofracturing

13) President Obama Letter regarding NEPA implications of horizontal hydrofracturing of shale to extract natural gas

14) EPA RD SGEIS Comments Letter to Cuomo

15) 1/11/12 EPA Comments on rdSGEIS

16) 12-12-11 Senate Testimony

17) Coalition Letter With More Than 10,400 Signatories Requesting Immediate Withdrawal of the RD SGEIS

18) Walter Hang’s 11/17/11 Marcellus Shale Revised Draft SGEIS Testimony Binghamton, NY

19) Letter to Governor Cuomo Regarding Ferrugia Family

20) Ferrugia Contaminated Drinking Water Well, Jamestown, NY Video

21) Map of Gas Production Wells Near 2641 Donelson Road, Jamestown, NY

22) 6/1/09 Letter from Chautauqua County Department of Health

23) 6/30/09 Letter from SUNY Fredonia

24) 7/6/09 Letter from NYSDEC

25) 11/19/09 Letter from Chautauqua County Department of Health

26) CCDOH Complaints Summary for FOIL Response

27) Harrison 1983

28) USGS Response to DEC

29) Town of Poland DEC Letter

30) Natural Gas and Oil Spills Recently Reported to DEC

31) Letter From Veterinarian

32) Coalition Letter to Governor Cuomo to Withdraw RD SGEIS

33) Cuomo Letter: Revised Draft SGEIS Gas Drilling and Wastewater Spreading

34) Documents Regarding DEC-Approved Gas Drilling Wastewater Spreading for Dust Control, Winter De-icing and Roadbed Stabilization

35) Stringent EPA Gas Drilling Wastewater Regulatory Requirements Not Being Enforced in NYS/Please Solve This Problem in the Revised draft SGEIS

36) Letters to Commissioner Martens

37) Letter to Commissioner Martens Requesting Revision of draft SGEIS to Address Additional Concerns

38) EPA Detailed Comments on dSGEIS to DEC (Dec.2009)

39) Accepting Written Public Input Without Further Delay Regarding Revising the draft SGEIS, 6/5/11


41) Gas & Oil Leases Impact on Residential Lending and Tompkins Trust Powerpoint

42) Letter to Governor Cuomo Regarding Natural Gas Leasing Impacts on Mortgage Lending

43) 4/13/11 Letter to Governor Cuomo from New York State Legislators Re: Executive Order No. 41

44) Natural Gas Drilling Wastewater Discharged to POTWs in New York’s Finger Lakes Region

45) Letter to Commissioner Martens

46) EPA, State, & Other Marcellus Shale Documents

47) 3-3-11 Letter to Governor Cuomo

48) Cuomo Executive Order: Continuation and Expiration of Prior Executive Orders

49) Coalition Letter to Governor Cuomo Regarding Executive Order No. 41: Requiring Further Environmental Review of High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Combined With Horizontal Drilling

50) Paterson Executive Order No. 41 Letter

51) Executive Order’s Erroneous Assertion Regarding Conventional Gas Well Fracking


53) Coalition Cover Letter to Withdraw the draft SGEIS Before You Leave Office

54) Urgent Letter to Governor Paterson to Withdraw the draft SGEIS Before Leaving Office

55) Congressman Hinchey’s signature on the coalition letter for withdrawal of the Marcellus Shale draft SGEIS

56) DEC Memo Regarding Cuts

57) 9/23/10 Letter to Governor Paterson

58) 9/20/10 Letter to Andrew Cuomo

59) Map: Major Drinking Water Supply Watersheds and Aquifers

60) EPA hydrofracking study comments

61) New York Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Cuomo: The Marcellus Shale could contribute to New York’s natural gas supply, but development needs to be highly sensitive to environmental concerns.

62) EPA’s 12/30/2009 letter regarding dSGEIS

63) 4/2/10 Chautauqua & Cattaraugus County Attachments

64) US Energy and Allegany County PDFs

65) Marcellus Shale News Article Compilation

66) 4/2/10 Letter to DEC Commissioner Grannis Regarding Additional Natural Gas Hazards


68) dSGEIS Comments

69) Documents Related to Private Water Well Reportedly Impacted by Fracking

70) 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

71) Oil & Gas Spill Profiles

72) Bixby Hill Road Documents

Assemblywoman asks: What ever happened to NY’s hydrofracking panel? | Politics on the Hudson

Assemblywoman asks: What ever happened to NY’s hydrofracking panel? | Politics on the Hudson.

“Cuomo Puts the Cart Before the Horse on Fracking—Elected Officials, Leading Environmental and Health Experts Call on Cuomo to Open Health Review to the Public,” Dec. 3, 2012

With thanks to Richard Averett for posting info about Concerned Health Professionals of New York, here is my entire statement from the press conference today in Albany with Barbara LIfton, Matt Ryan, Walter Hang, and Roger Downs of the Sierra Club.  I haven’t seen any media coverage yet.  Sandra

Prepared Remarks, Albany Press Conference, “Cuomo Puts the Cart Before the Horse on Fracking—Elected Officials, Leading Environmental and Health Experts Call on Cuomo to Open Health Review to the Public,” Dec. 3, 2012


I am Sandra Steingraber, biologist at Ithaca College


I saw some of you last Thursday when I was here to announce the launch of Concerned Health Professionals of New York—an initiative of doctors, nurses, and environmental health researchers.


Concerned Health Professionals was launched in response to the secrecy of the ongoing health review, the exclusion of New York State’s own public health experts in the process, and Governor Cuomo’s rejection of our unified demand for a transparent, comprehensive Health Impact Assessment.


Not knowing what documents the three outside health reviewers have been asked by DOH to review, we’ve created a website: where we’ve uploaded peer-reviewed studies, reports, and our testimonies and letters to serve as a repository of our many concerns about the consequences of fracking for public health.


Since then, we’ve also uploaded an  eight-minute video appeal to the three panelists from three of New York’s leading public health physicians, two nurses, the founder of New York Breast Cancer Network, and myself—an environmental researcher.  In this video, we speak directly to the three panelists about our most urgent concerns.  These include—


  • Radium in flowback fluid


  • Diesel exhaust and its link to breast cancer risk


  • Impaired birth outcomes of newborns born to women living near drilling and fracking operations


None of these concerns appear in the last iteration of the sGEIS. We have no idea if they are in the current one or are part of documents pieced together in secrecy by the DOH.


Okay.  Can I just say that this is crazy?  Scientists and doctors creating videos and websites funded out of their own pockets to get information and data to our out-of-state colleagues because our collective knowledge has been entirely ignored by our own government?


But it gets even crazier.  On Thursday, we learned that draft regulations were being released.  On Friday, we learned that two of the three outside reviews—in whose hands the fate of millions of New Yorkers now lie—are being paid for 25 hours of work.  Twenty-five hours is three working days.  You cannot even READ all the literature on fracking’s health effects in three days.


So what should be a linear, deliberative process of decision-making—


first, we investigate cumulative health impacts (how many New Yorkers will get sick and die if fracking comes to our state?), then we fold those answers into a larger EIS that examines if said impacts are acceptably mitigatable, and only then, if they are, do those results become the foundation for regulations—


what should be a linear process of decision-making is twisted into a pretzel:


The regs are out and we can comment on them.


But the EIS is not out.


And the health study, which should be its basis, isn’t even done, and it’s being carried out in total secrecy, and, oh, yeah, today’s the reported deadline for the receipt of the outside reviewers review based on unknown scoping and three days’ work.


That’s not just irrational.  That’s surreal


In twenty years of serving on state and federal advisory panels and watching science get turned into policy, I have never seen a more shameful process.  The scientific process behind the decision to frack or not to frack New York is befitting a Third World dictatorship, not a progressive democracy.


Here’s what needs to happen:  The process by which the state of New York is evaluating health effects must be opened up to public scrutiny and input.  We must have public hearings.  We must define the broad spectrum of pollutants associated with fracking, document their fate in the environment, identify pathways of human exposure, and investigate long-term health consequences.


Until then, the public health community of New York will raise our voices in objection.  Because science is supposed to be transparent, and the Governor’s process has been anything but transparent.  Because this process feels like a series of reactions to attacks from the fracking industry, rather than a deliberative process for implementing sound public policy.


It is alarming for the administration to attempt to rush the enormous amount of work that must be done into the next 85 days.  We hope—and demand—that they will step back, see the dangerous path they are on, step out of the backrooms to engage the public, and keep their promise to follow the science.

Statement re: DOH Refusal to Share Details on Fracking Health Study

Statement re: DOH Refusal to Share Details on Fracking Health Study.

FOIA Request

DOH Reply

DEC Will Reset Regulatory Timeline, Requiring New Public Hearings « Solid Shale

DEC Will Reset Regulatory Timeline, Requiring New Public Hearings « Solid Shale.

Health Impact Assessment

On Martens’ Press Release on DEC ‘studying the health Impacts – the call from medical professionals has rightly been for a Health Impact Assessment.
What Martens has said is that the DEC will study the health impacts.  NOT THE SAME THING.
Scan these sites on HIAs and be able to speak to the difference.  What Martens has proposed, a closed review of whatever data it is they have gathered,  is NOT acceptable.
Mary Menapace RN
From The World Health Organization
Why use HIA?
HIA is based on four values that link the HIA to the policy environment in which it is being undertaken.
Democracy – allowing people to participate in the development and implementation of policies, programmes or projects that may impact on their lives.
Equity – HIA assesses the distribution of impacts from a proposal on the whole population, with a particular reference to how the proposal will affect vulnerable people (in terms of age, gender, ethnic background and socio-economic status).
Sustainable development – that both short and long term impacts are considered, along with the obvious, and less obvious impacts.
Ethical use of evidence – the best available quantitative and qualitative evidence must be identified and used in the assessment. A wide variety of evidence should be collected using the best possible methods.



From CDC site: lots of info on this site and links –

For instance, this on respiratory health as example of HIA assessments:

Respiratory Health & Air Pollution
Transportation-related pollutants are one of the largest contributors to unhealthy air quality. Exposure to traffic emissions has been linked to many adverse health effects including: Exacerbation of asthma symptoms, diminished lung function, adverse birth outcomes, and childhood cancer.
Common transportation-related air pollutants include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and particulate matter. Ozone, formed when nitrogen dioxide and sunlight react, is also a common pollutant. Particulate matter and ozone are known respiratory irritants that can aggravate asthma either by themselves or when combined with other environmental factors. Recent health studies also suggest that particulate matter is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Motor vehicles contribute to more than 50% of air pollution in urban areas. The design of communities and transportation systems impacts how often automobiles are used, how many automobile trips are taken, and how long those trips are. Reducing automobile trips by increasing mass transit use, carpooling, walking, and bicycling can help reduce air pollution, especially in urban areas.
Several years ago, researchers took advantage of a natural experiment to learn about the impact on pediatric asthma of decreased traffic levels and improved air quality. During the 1996 Summer Olympics Games in Atlanta, when peak morning traffic decreased 23% and peak ozone levels decreased 28%, emergency visits for asthma events in children decreased 42%. At the same time, children’s emergency room visits for causes other than asthma did not change. These results suggest that efforts to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality can also help improve the respiratory health of a community.

Shale Gas – The Bridge to Global Warming?

12_mar_apr.pdf (application/pdf Object).

Shale Gas – The Bridge to Global Warming?


Status of Natural Gas Drilling in Town of Homer

Lawrence Jones.pdf.  Homer News.

Status of Natural Gas Drilling in Town of Homer