Testimony from Josh Fox I have asked the following questions of the Cuomo Administration and of Joe Martens

and they have not been answered. I believe that the SGEIS is a fatally flawed document and must be withdrawn immediately. Josh Fox

Questions for the Cuomo Administration for GAS LAN 0 2, 3/13/12

1. We have heard that the DEC is going to speed up its review of the over 60,000 comments received on the SGEIS and come out with final regulations this spring. Is this true? Since the first round of 14,000 public comments took over a
year to process, in what ways has the process changed to allow for this fast track process to be done in an adequate and careful way?

2. The DSGEIS did not include a statistical evaluation of the rate of well failures and subsequent methane migration into Underground Sources of Drinking Water (USDW) in the Pennsylvania Marcellus play. Are you aware that in 2011 alone, operators were cited over 120 times for methane migration resulting with cementing and/or casing failures, and that, despite the use of modern techniques and additional regulations, this failure rate, over 6%, is similar to that which is chronic and well-known by the industry? Oil and gas wells in NYS commonly already have 3 or 4 strings of casing, as do wells in PA that have been found in violation of methane migration restrictions. On what scientific basis can it be stated that having an intermediate casing string reduces the probability of loss of well integrity? Can the administration address the well known industry problem of well casing failure, which has been shown by industry documents to be upwards of 50% failure over a 30 year time frame. To protect groundwater these wells have to last forever. What is the plan for dealing with this here to fore unsolvable problem? 3. Can you address issues of radon in the Marcellus Shale? There are various reports that show that the Marcellus shale contains radon gas that might not have time to dissipate to an acceptable level if piped from locations in NY or PA into New York City and that the radon in the gas would cause significant health impacts including a significant rise in cancer rates in consumers in New York City. How does the Cuomo Administration address this potentially lethal problem? In your answer, address the following: a) shale gas tends to have more radon that conventional gas, as the gas has much more recently been in contact with the parent radium that produces the radon; b) shale gas from the Marcellus has

a lot more radon than does most shale gas, as the shale has more radium, thorium, and uranium in it; and c) radon decays with a half life of 3.8 days therefore. moving gas from the Marcellus quickly into NYC will give consumers high levels of radon. 4. Questions about Fracking and Climate Change: 4a) How do you address the new information that fracked shale gas wells release much larger quantities of raw methane, a very potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere and that unconventional natural gas from shale is worse than coal in terms of its potential to increase runaway climate change? (See enclosed citations from NOAA, Cornell University, National Climate Assessment, et al.) 4b) Renowned author, climate change expert, and grassroots leader Bill McKibben writes in the NY Review of books that a worldwide move towards shale gas would be disastrous for the planet. He states that burning the world reserves of shale gas would raise global temperature by 3.5 degrees. He writes: "As the International Energy Agency reported last summer, the numbers are significant: their projections for a "Golden Age of Gas" scenario have atmospheric concentrations of C02 peaking at 650 parts per million and temperature rising 3.5 degrees Celsius, far higher than all the experts believe is safe." Given that a rise in global temperature of 3.5 degrees Celsius and the corresponding rise in sea level would have grave implications for coastal areas in New York including New York City, why is the impact of shale gas on global warming not a consideration in the SGEIS or in any of the Cuomo Administration's statements about large scale gas development?

5. Why was there no attempt to include representatives from the vast array of grassroots organizations that have sprung up throughout New York in the past three years on the Cuomo Administration's advisory panel on fracking? Who picked the members of the panel? Why were no scientists appointed to the panel? 6. Recently the Ohio Department of Natural Resources released a report which concluded that waste disposal from fracking into UIC waste injection wells has caused earthquakes, because of injection into regions with unmapped faults. Additionally, an operator has admitted that its fracking, not waste injection, operation caused earthquakes in England. Have these threats been addressed by the Cuomo Administration? How can the administration be certain that earthquakes caused by fracking would not·damage the vital aqueducts that bring water to New York City from the watershed or damage cement jobs in nearby wells?
OHIO DNR:

http://www.ohiodnr.comlhome page/NewsReleases/tabid/18276/Entryld/2711/0 hios-New-Rules-for-Brine-Disposal-Among-NationsToug hest. aspx ENGLAND: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011 111/02/us-gas-frackingidUSTRE7 A 160020111102 7. Will the New York City watershed be exempted from drilling? Will the Syracuse watershed be exempted from drilling? Will the Delaware River Basin be exempted from drilling? Why? Why not extend those protections to all water sources/private water wells in the state? 8. Real estate values have plunged in certain areas where heavy gas leasing has occurred; what will the Cuomo Administration do to address the drop in property value in areas drilled for the residents who have not signed leases and have had their property devalued simply by being adjacent to a drilling zone? What will the impact be on property tax collections for already struggling NYS local governments? 9. What effect has the over 2 million dollars in gas industry lobbying had on Albany and on the Cuomo Administration? What kinds of interactions with the gas industry has the administration had? 10. The Governor has said numerous times that he wants science to inform the issue, then why not wait until the federal EPA studies on fracking effects on USDWand on USDW contamination in Wyoming are released? 11. Please tell me five chief points of Region 2 EPA's criticism of NY's DSGEIS and how the new SGEIS and the Cuomo administration will address them.

12. Are the gas industries jobs numbers exaggerated? How many jobs can we expect? How do gas industry jobs compare to jobs in renewable clean energy such as solar, wind, hydropower and geothermal? 13. What protections will New York afford to workers who are working with dangerous chemicals in the gas fields? Gas and oil workers in other states are regularly required to sign non-disclosure agreements with gas companies, which stipulate that even if they get sick as a result of exposure to chemicals and other hazardous wastes that they will be in violation of their non disclosure agreements if they call a doctor that is not employed by the gas company. Will workers in gas operations in New York be subject to this practice, or will more openness about worker safety and illness be mandated? How aggressively will New York state protect its workers from injury and potential chemical exposure? 14. Has the Obama Administration's new position on Natural Gas, as stated in the State of the Union address, influenced the Cuomo Administration? What conversations between the Obama Administration and the Cuomo Administration

have taken place in the last year about Natural Gas? 15. It the SGEIS is approved, approximately how many shale gas wells can we expect in New York state, and over what period of time?

16. New York has given birth to a huge anti-tracking movement across the state in places that were not traditionally politically charged. Why hasn't Governor Cuomo addressed the movement in specific? Is the strength of the movement and the power of some of its most influential and outspoken participants been truly assessed by the Cuomo administration? 17. Has the Natural Gas industry made specific campaign contributions to the Cuomo Administration or promised to contribute to future campaigns?
18. It has been shown that traffic accidents, traffic deaths, violent crime, sexual crime and drug use all rise significantly in gas drilling boomtown areas. How will New York deal with these issues? Will the cost of additional police and/or damage to roads, communities, insurance rates, housing prices, individuals, etc be born chiefly by tax payers of New York State or by the gas industry? What planning has taken place to address these social costs?

19. Despite frequent statements by the operators in PA that they are recycling almost 100% of their flowback wastes, are you aware that in 2011 only 38% of flowback waste reported to the PA DEP was recycled? Given the absence of oil and gas industrial waste processing facilities and UIC disposal wells in NY, why isn't recycling proposed as a regulation in the DSGEIS?

20. What effort has there been to map abandoned and orphaned oil and gas wells throughout the state that could become conduits for the migration of frack fluid and/or gas and volatile organic compounds into underground sources of drinking water as was shown by EPA to occur in West Virginia? (see enclosed NY Times article) What effort has there been to map the natural fractures in potential drilling areas which could also cause migration of frack fluid or VOCs and gas/oil into USDWas was shown to occur at Divide Creek in Colorado? (see enclosed report)
NYTIMES: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/04Jus/04natgas.html?pagewanted:::all Divide Creek: http://cogcc.state.co.us/Ubrary/Presentations/GlenwQod Spgs HearingJuly 9/(2 C) WestDivideCreek-2009.pdf 21. Can you address the rumors that continue to abound about a pilot drilling program that would allow for hundreds of test wells to be drilled in NY State

200

before the approval of the SGEIS? Where would these wells be drilled? What companies would drill them? What has been the tenor of the conversations . between the Cuomo Administration and Industry. Doesn't a pilot drilling plan go around the democratic SGEIS process? If no, why not? 22) The DOE has slashed the estimates for the Marcellus by 66% and stated that the entire Marcellus play will only provide the nation with 6 years worth of gas at current consumption rates. How would your administration justify the potential and probably permanent contamination of water supplies for millions of people together with the potential job losses in other industries which could be severely impacted by gas drilling such as wineries, tourism and basic agriculture for a mere 6 years worth of gas? Particularly given that we now know other shale plays around the country (Barnett and Fayetteville) are officially in decline only a few years after inception in spite of the claims that such plays would be economic powerhouses for 30-60 years. 23) Will the DEC continue to take the position of requiring the gas companies to fully disclose all the chemicals used in every phase of hydraulic fracturing? How will the DEC be certain that ALL of the chemicals are being disclosed? How will the use of chemicals be monitored on site? Will the health effects of chemicals used be widely distributed to landowners in drIlling areas and other stakeholders? Will regular water testing be conducted In areas where chemicals are used and will all chemicals known to be used in the drilling process be tested for and if so, who wIll pay for these tests, tax payers or the gas industry? Who will be responsible for baseline testing before drilling begins?

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful