Tell the DEC to scrap the Draft SGEIS. This ill-conceived plan to frack New York threatens public health and could cost taxpayers billions.
A Frack Free 2012?
Governor Cuomo’s attempt to fast track fracking in New York State has encountered two more stumbling blocks. A key advisory panel that was supposed to have delivered its final report by November 1st hasn’t been able to meet its deadline.
The report is delayed because the state still hasn’t been able to figure out how much it will cost to repair the roads and bridges damaged by drilling equipment, or how much it will cost to mitigate the public health problems caused by air and water contamination. New York has come up with an estimate of what it will cost to staff the DEC for fracking-about a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money.
Cuomo’s fracking juggernaut is also being held up by the thousands of public comments that are streaming into the DEC about the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS). Do your part. Send a letter to the DEC, and if you can, personalize it in some way. The DEC is required to read and evaluate each unique and substantive comment it receives about the Draft SGEIS, and that takes time-hopefully time enough for us to educate New Yorkers about the dangers posed by fracking, and to build support for a permanent, statewide ban.
Home Mortgages at Risk ?
It appears that neither the gas industry nor New York State has bothered to read the fine print in most home mortgages. The FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and many private banks require that gas wells be set back 300 feet from residential property lines and from homes. These mandatory setbacks are not reflected in gas leases or state regulations. If fracking in New York moves forward, many homeowners who have leased, or who live near properties that have leased, could find themselves in default of their mortgages. While wholesale foreclosures are unlikely, homeowners are liable to encounter difficulty if they try to refinance or sell their homes.
The Month Ahead
It seems New York State and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) have both decided that the weeks around the Thanksgiving holiday are a perfect time to schedule public hearings.
Between November 16th and November 30th, the DEC has scheduled the only four public hearings on the Draft SGEIS.
The DRBC will probably vote to adopt fracking regulations at a public meeting in West Trenton scheduled for November 21st. Even though these proposed regulations have been revised, the public will not be permitted to comment on them before they are put to a vote.
Please see our home page for the details on all these meetings and try to attend as many as you can.
Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!
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