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Lenape

Lenape

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Published by rkarlin

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Published by: rkarlin on Jul 31, 2012
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07/31/2012

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LENAPEENERGY,.
INC.
40CHAMBERSSTREET,SPENCERPORT,NY14559585.344.1200Fax:585.344.3283
July26,2012NewYorkStateDepartmentofEnvironmentalConservationCommissionerJosephMartens625BroadwayAlbany,NY12233-1011Re:TownLawT-A-5-2012/LenapeResourcesInc.DearCommissionerMartens:TheTownofAvon,LivingstonCounty,NewYork("Avon")recentlyadoptedAvonTownLawT-A-5-2012captionedasa"MoratoriumonandProhibitionofGasandPetroleumExplorationandExtractionActivities,UndergroundStorageofNaturalGas,andDisposalofNaturalGasorPetroleumExtraction,ExplorationandProductionWastes"(hereinafterthe"LawProhibitingNaturalGas").AcopyoftheLawProhibitingNaturalGasisattachedforyourreference.TheTownofCaledoniaenactedthevirtuallyidenticallocallawonJune28,2012andtheidenticallaw
is
beingcontemplatedintheTownofYork.ThetownsofAvon,CaledoniaandYorkarehereinafterreferredtosimplyasthe"Towns."ViolationoftheLawProhibitingNaturalGasispunishablebyfinesandimprisonment.EnvironmentalConservationLaw("ECL")§23-0303(2),enactedin198I,statesthatTheprovisionsofthisarticle[Article23]shallsupersedealllocallawsorordinancesrelatingtotheregulationoftheoil,gasandsolutionminingindustries;butshallnotsupersedelocalgovernmentjurisdictionoverlocalroadsortherightsoflocalgovernmentsundertherealpropertytaxlaw.LenapeResourcesInc.oritspredecessorshavebeensafelyandresponsiblydevelopingnaturalgasintheTownsundertheexclusiveregulatoryauthorityoftheNewYorkStateDepartmentofEnvironmentalConservation(the"Department")since1982.FollowingtheenactmentofECL§23-0303(2),theDepartmentroutinelyenforcedtheprovisionsofECL§23-0303(2)bysendingletterstolocalgovernmentofficialsadvisingoftheDepartment'sexclusiveauthoritytoregulateallaspectsofoilandnaturalgasdevelopment,exceptfortheissuesoftaxationandimpactsonlocalroads.ArepresentativecopyofaDepartmentlettertoalocalmunicipalityisattachedheretoforyourreference.PursuanttoEeL§7]-1311(1),theDepartmenthasalegalobligationtoprecludeenforcementoftheLawProhibitingNaturalGas.EeL
§
71-13]
1(1)statesthat
US_ACTIVE-110138166171261122:03PM
 
Wheneveritappearsthatanypersonisviolatingorthreateningtoviolateanyprovisionofarticle
23
ofthischapteroriscommittinganyoffensedescribedinsection
71-1305
ofthistitle,thedepartment,actingbytheAttorneyGeneral,maybringsuitagainstsuchpersoninanycourtofcompetentjurisdictiontorestrainsuchpersonfromcontinuingsuchviolationorfrom
carrying
outthethreatofviolation.Inanysuchsuit,thecourtshallhavejurisdictiontogranttothedepartmentwithoutbondorotherundertaking,suchprohibitoryormandatoryinjunctionsasthefactsmaywarrant,includingtemporaryrestrainingordersandpreliminaryinjunctions.TheregulationsandrequirementsimposedbythelawProhibitingNaturalGasconflictwiththestatutoryrequirementsimposedunderArticle
23
oftheEel,theregulationssetforthin6NYCRRPart550etseq.andtheexistingGenericEnvironmentalImpactStatementthatiscurrentlyundergoingextensiverevision.Lenapehasbeenforcedtoshut-inanumberofwellsinAvonbecausetheoperationofthosewellsmayresultinviolationsoftheLawProhibitingNaturalGasifproductioncontinued.Lenapenoritsagents,employeesorcontractorsshouldbesubjecttoarrest,finesandpossiblyjailforconductingactivitiesauthorizedundertheexclusiveauthorityofstatelaw.ECL
§23-0303(2)
unquestionablyprecludeslocalgovernmententitiesfromregulatingoilandnaturalgasindustries.TheLawProhibitingNaturalGasunquestionablyattemptstoregulateoilandnaturalgasindustryactivities.EeL
§71-1311(1)
unquestionablygrantstheDepartmentwiththeauthoritytoenforcetheprovisionsofArticle
23,
whichincludesthepreemptionprovisionssetforthinECL
§23-0303(2),
uponnoticethattheprovisionofArticlearebeing,orarethreatenedwithbeingviolated.Byandthroughthisletter,LenapeisnotifyingyouthattheTownsareviolating,orarethreateningtoviolate,provisionsofArticle
23
[theEeL.Lenaperespectfullyrequeststhatyouroffice,astheregulatorybodywithauthorityoverLenape'soilandgasindustryactivitiesinewYorkState,takethefollowingactions:(1)advisetheownsthattheLawProhibitingaturalGasisanillegalandunenforceableact;(2)affirmtoLenapethatitslawfulconductofoperationsundertheexclusiveauthorityofNewYorkStatelawwillnotsubjectLenape,itsagents,employeesorcontractorsto.localenforcementproceedings,includingfinesandimprisonment,LindertheLawProhibitingNaturalGas;and(3)actingthroughtheOfficeoftheNewYorkStateAttorneyGeneralor
011
yourownvolition,takelegalactiontoextinguishtheLawProhibitingaturalGasprovisionsinconflictwiththeEeLorthecomplexoilandnaturalgasregulatoryschemeadministeredbytheDepartment.GiventheimportanceoftheseissuestoLenapescontinuedoperationsinNewYork,pleasetaketherequestedactionwithinten(10)days.ThisletterservesasNoticerequiredunderEeL
§
71-
1311
(2)thatLenapemayinitiatelegalactionauthorizedbyEeL
§
71-1311(1)
toenforceECL
§23-
-2-
 
0303(2)iftheDepartment,throughtheAttorneyGeneralfailstoact,namingtheDepartmentasa
party
toanyproceedings.Yourpromptattentiontotheseimportantmattersisgreatlyappreciated.AttachmentsAvonLawCaledoniaLawYorkProposedLawresident
CC:
Hon.
EricSchneidermanOffice
of
theAttorneyGeneralTheCapitolAlbany,NY
12224-0341BradField-DirectoroftheDivisionofMineralResources
ewYorkStateDepartmentofEnvironmentalConservationCommissionerJosephMartens625BroadwayAlbany,NY
12233-101]LindaCollart-Region8DivisionofMineralResources6274E.Avon-LimaRoadAvon,NY14414-9519MichaelP.Joy.esq.ReedSmith,LLPReedSmithCenter525FifthAvenuePittsburgh,PA15222
...,
-
.)
-

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