TAKE ACTION! The Assembly has voted to close the toxic waste loophole enjoyed by frackers -tell the Senate to act!
TAKE ACTION! Tell Governor Cuomo not to short circuit the legal process by greenlighting fracking this spring!
(Because these Action Alerts are being sent to NYS officials, they can only be acted on if you use a NYS address.)
Home Rule Upheld in Court!
In a historic decision, State Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey upheld zoning ordinances in the Town of Dryden (Tompkins County) that explicitly prohibit any and all activities having to do with shale gas extraction . The Dryden ordinances not only prohibit fracking, but also the storing, treating and disposal of any products or wastes produced from fracking.
The town had been sued by Colorado-based Anschutz Exploration Corporation which spent over five million dollars leasing 22,000 acres in the town, gambling that it would be able to undertake high-volume hydraulic fracturing – an extraction technique not previously permitted in New York State.
Justice Rumseys’ decision was the first court test of New York’s notorious Environmental Conservation Law 23 which gives the state power to regulate the oil and gas industry, but not the ability to override local zoning ordinances. In rendering his decision, the justice wrote “Nowhere in the legislative history… is there any suggestion that the legislature intended… to preempt local zoning authority.”
The NYS Assembly Votes to close the Hazardous Waste Loophole!
Last week the NYS Assembly overwhelmingly passed A7013, a bill that will close the loophole in the law that permits the oil and gas industry to dispose of toxic drilling wastes as ordinary industrial waste. This law will protect the public and our drinking water supplies by requiring the industry to properly dispose of hazardous waste – and by requiring the DEC to report toxic spills like those that occurred in Le Roy, New York.
One hundred and five Assembly Members voted for the bill; thirty-eight voted to preserve the loophole. Coincidentally, one of these legislators recently wrote to Catskill Citizens to explain to us why the DEC didn’t need to report the toxic spills schoolyard grounds in Le Roy, New York – where more than a dozen students have recently come down with a still unexplained illness. In response, we wrote an open letter to the Assembly Member tracing the connection between the hazardous waste loophole and what went wrong in Le Roy.
Threatening Noises from the Governor’s Office
Unfortunately, significant gains in the courts and in the Assembly have been overshadowed by indications that Cuomo Administration is considering going around the law and permitting fracking in New York State even before the DEC has had a chance to properly evaluate and respond to the 61,000 comments it received on the Revised Draft SGEIS – and before it has conducted a health impact assessment. The Governor recently told the editorial board of the Syracuse Post Standard that the decision to permit fracking is just “a couple of months away“.
Rally to Ban Fracking this Saturday!
From 1:00 to 3:00 pm at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street & Amsterdam Avenue, NY, NY. Click here to register.
People Get Ready
Non violent civil disobedience training, Sunday, March 11th from 12:30-5:00 pm at the Delaware Youth Center, Callicoon, New York. To register, and for further information email Beverly Sterner at [email protected] or call 570-729-7068.
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For more information email [email protected] or call (845) 468 7063
Two out of three people who find out about fracking think the risks aren’t worth the rewards.
Public awareness is the key to our success, so spread the word!
Please donate to Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy.