Public Hearings on DEC’s Environmental Impact Statement

Tom and Amanda Burchinal - DEC sGEIS Hearin Rally - Binghamton NY

Tom and Amanda Burchinal – DEC sGEIS Hearing Rally – Binghamton NY – Nov 2011 [Photo by Colleen Boland

This piece is from the Binghamton and Loch Sheldrake public hearings for the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation), SGEIS (Draft Supplementa Generic Environmental Impact Statement). Once the public comment period closes on January 11th, the DEC will issue a final SGEIS and Fracking can begin in NY. Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy has provided sample letters which must be submitted to the DEC by January 11th.

This piece includes some of the hundreds of people at the hearings, the anti-fracking rally and press conference in Binghamton on November 17th and people providing their 3 minute comments inside the auditorium. This is followed by some of the hundreds of people in Loch Sheldrake on November 29th, both for and against drilling, including Tom Shepstone the Northeast Campaign Director for Energy in Depth, an industry backed pro-drilling and fracking advocacy group, a representative form Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Ramsay Adams the director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, an environmental advocacy group fighting fracking and unsafe shale gas extraction in the Catskills of NY, Barbara Arrindell, director of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability (PA and the Delaware River Basin of PA and NY) and others.

The DEC held only 4 hearings in NY which many people and organizations felt were inadequate so the volunteer grassroots organization, Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy along with several other organizations has organized an additional public hearing. It will be held at the OKUN Theatre at SUNY Delhi, in Delhi, NY on January 7th from 1-5 PM. Comments will be submitted to the DEC as part of their oofficialrecord.

Also Catskill Mountainkeeper and a coalition of partners organized a rally, The State of the State Rally that was held in Albany on January 4th to send a message to Governor Cuomo to stop fracking and support a statewide ban on shale gas extraction in NY.

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