Pete  Grannis     Commissioner  NYSDEC   625  Broadway   Albany  NY   12233-­‐1011    


May  6,  2010   Dear  Commissioner  Grannis,     We   urge   the   New   York   State   Department   of   Environmental   Conservation   [NYSDEC]   to   delay   issuing   a   revised   Supplemental  Generic  Environmental  Impact  Statement  [SGEIS]  on  proposed  gas  drilling  using  high  volume   hydraulic   fracturing   until   the   agency   can   study   and   integrate   the   conclusions   of   the   United   States   Environmental   Protection   Agency   [EPA]'s   own   report   on   gas   drilling   [proposed   bill   A10490   addresses   this   issue].    In  addition,  the  1992  EIS  is  not  protective  and  the  whole  process  needs  to  start  over.    At  the  very  least,   a  revised  draft  SGEIS  should  wait  until  the  EPA  report  is  available.    As  you  know,  the  EPA  is  commencing  a   comprehensive   research   study   to   investigate   the   potential   adverse   impacts   of   high   pressure   hydraulic   fracturing  on  water  quality  and  public  health.     We   commend   the   EPA   for   recognizing   that   their   2004   report,   which   concluded   that   hydraulic   fracturing   does   not   pose   a   threat   to   drinking   water,   did   not   address   many   conditions   that   are   common   today   such   as   drilling   in  shale,  and  fracturing  horizontally  up  to  a  mile  underground,  which  requires  five  times  more  chemical  laden   fluid  than  vertical  drilling.    We  are  appalled  that  the  incomplete  2004  report  was  used  to  justify  exempting   hydraulic  fracturing  from  oversight  under  the  Safe  Drinking  Water  Act.     There   is   absolutely   no   credible   reason   to   fast   track   the   proposed   hydraulic   fracturing   gas   drilling   process.     Gas  supplies  are  plentiful.    The  U.S.  Energy  Information  Administration’s  Short-­‐Term  Energy  Outlook  forecast   states  that  there  are  abundant  inventories  of  natural  gas  and  gas  consumption  is  not  on  the  rise.    Given  the   potential  of  hydraulic  fracturing  to  pollute  our  drinking  water,  foul  our  air  and  spoil  our  land  and  health,  the   NYSDEC  should  methodically  review  all  pertinent  information  before  issuing  its  findings.     As   landholders   who   leased   their   land   before   high-­‐impact   gas   exploitation   was   anticipated,   we   are   keenly   interested   in   ensuring   that   NYS   proceed   cautiously.     We   signed   leases   based   on   our   knowledge   and   expectation  related  to  conventional  gas  development.    For  some  of  us,  the  leases  were  signed  when  spacing   units  were  640  acres  and  the  change  in  law  to  allow  40  acre  units  is  not  what  we  bargained  for.    None  of  us   knew  that  the  leases  would  allow  the  injection  of  toxic  chemicals.    The  industrialization,  water  contamination   and  air  impacts  associated  with  the  exploitation  of  shale  gas  using  high  volume  hydraulic  fracturing  has  the   potential   to   irrevocably   damage   the   rural   NYS   landscape   and   to   affect   the   health   of   its   residents   for   generations  to  come.         

  Our   concerns   were   increased   by   the   recent   NYSDEC   decision   to   require   individual   environmental   impact   statements   for   each   proposed   well   in   the   New   York   City   and   Syracuse   watershed   areas.   It   is   clear   that   this   preferential  treatment  of  two  areas  of  our  state  is  an  unspoken  admission  that  the  draft  Supplemental  Generic   Environmental   Impact   Statement   [dSGEIS]   cannot   provide   adequate   protection   of   the   public   health.     We   who   live  in  other  watershed  areas  also  depend  on  clean  water  and  we  need  the  same  protection  of  our  water.     We  implore  you  to  consider  the  final  conclusions  of  the  EPA's  new  research  study  before  developing  a  new   draft  SGEIS.    The  writing  of  this  new  draft  should  take  into  consideration  the  results  of  the  EPA’s  report,  as   well  as  the  14,000  comments  received  by  NYSDEC  on  the  dSGEIS  issued  in  September  2009.    In  addition,  the   new  draft  should  be  subject  to  public  review  and  comment  before  it  is  implemented.     Respectfully,    

  Ellen  Z.  Harrison,  Director   On  behalf  of  Fleased  and  its  members       Cc:     David  A.  Paterson  New  York  State  Governor   Judith  Enck  EPA  Regional  Administrator     Charles  Schumer  United  States  Senator     Kirsten  Gillibrand  United  States  Senator   Maurice  Hinchey  United  States  Representative     Michael  Arcuri  United  Sates  Representative   James  L.  Seward  New  York  State  Senator   George  H.  Winner  Jr.  New  York  State  Senator   Michael  F.  Nozzolio  New  York  State  Senator   Antoine  Thompson  New  York  State  Senator   Barbara  S,  Lifton  New  York  State  Assemblywoman   Robert  Sweeney  New  York  State  Assemblyman   Steve  Englebright  New  York  State  Assemblyman   Andrew  Cuomo  New  York  State  Attorney  General   David  Skorton,  President,  Cornell  University   Albany  Times  Union   Ithaca  Journal  


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