October 16, 2009, New York Times Editorial: Shale and Our Water


Shale and Our Water

link to complete article is here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/17/opinion/17sat1.html?_r=1

Published: October 16, 2009

New York State’s environmental regulators have proposed rules to govern drilling in the Marcellus Shale — a subterranean layer of rock curving northward from West Virginia through Ohio and Pennsylvania to New York’s southern tier. The shale contains enormous deposits of natural gas that could add to the region’s energy supplies and lift New York’s upstate economy. If done carefully — and in carefully selected places — drilling should cause minimal environmental harm.

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October 16, 2009, Albany Times Union: Wading in water risk pool DEC says rules curb gas drilling threats, experts not so sure

Wading in water risk pool
DEC chief says new rules curb gas drilling threats, experts not so sure
 link to complete story here: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=853527&category=REGION
By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Friday, October 16, 2009
ALBANY — State lawmakers are asking for more time to digest a complicated 809-page rule book after Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis testified Thursday that proposed new state controls on natural gas drilling make the environmental risk "infinitesimal."

Water experts who also testified before the state Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee said the DEC proposals, issued last month after more than a year of study, don’t go far enough to protect water, which is used in large amounts as part of a drilling technique called hydrofracking.

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October 22, 2009, Rochester City Newspaper Editorial: SHALE: What about the water?

SHALE: What about the water?

link to complete article here: http://rochestercitynewspaper.com/news/blog/2009/10/SHALE-What-about-the-water/
There’s a good reason why so many environmental groups and even politicians – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, for example – want the DEC to extend the comment period for the DEC’s new shale gas-drilling regulations: it’s a very complicated topic.

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October 7, 2009, GateHouse News Service: Cheryl Miller: Settling the great porcupine debate

Cheryl Miller

GateHouse News Service
Posted Oct 07, 2009 @ 12:28 PM

One evening last November, my husband and I were driving to meet my dad for dinner when we passed a dead animal on the side of the road. It was dusk, and we were traveling at 55 miles per hour. I gave the dark lump only a cursory glance, just long enough to affirm by shape that it was not somebody’s beloved cat or dog.

My husband, on the other hand, swiveled his head in excited disbelief. “Did you see that? It was a porcupine! Didn’t you see the quills? They were sticking out all over his back!”

Now, this is a man who once professed that he saw a man in a Carhart jacket skulking through the field behind our house one summer dawn; the brown-jacketed hominid turned out to be our neighbor’s horse, moseying down to the pond for a drink. While it is true that this incident occurred many years ago, and his near-sightedness corrected as he aged, I am nevertheless sometimes suspicious of his visual acuity.

I was pretty sure there are no porcupines where we live, and I told him so.

Naturally, the topic came up at dinner a few minutes later. My father, erstwhile farm boy and small-game hunter, has stalked the woods and fields of Upstate New York since Roosevelt introduced withholding taxes in 1943.

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Gas drilling coming to the Finger Lakes?

Department of Environmental Conservation
Marcellus Shale extent covers the Southern Tier and much of the Finger Lakes region
Daily Messenger
Posted Oct 05, 2009 @ 01:07 PM

Canandaigua, N.Y. —

The state released new environmental regulations last week for natural gas drilling, clearing the way for well permits in the Finger Lakes region. The largely untapped gas reserve, sweeping much of the state, has put many people on alert. Questions and concerns about what the drilling will mean for the environment and economy here have prompted a number of groups to join forces.

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October 5, 2009, The New York Times: The Andes Chronicles

October 5, 2009, 9:30 pm

link to complete article is here: http://fish.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/the-andes-chronicles/?hp


The Andes Chronicles

A friend of mine is running for a seat on the town council, and the other day she and I sat on the porch of the local coffee shop talking about the village she lives in all year round and I call home in the summer and early fall. The town is Andes, N.Y. It is on Route 28, roughly halfway between Woodstock and Cooperstown, about three hours and change from the city. And it flourishes against all odds. I’m trying to figure out why.

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September 22, 2009, Daily Freeman: Belleayre boosters claim foot-dragging by state

Belleayre boosters claim foot-dragging by state

HIGHMOUNT — Supporters of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center marked the second anniversary of an agreement in principle with a resort developer, saying the state is using the proposal to delay the release of a Unit Management Plan for the ski center.

The boosters’ dissatisfaction follows complaints last week by environmental groups that the land protection portion of the agreement has still not been satisfied. This week, it was the state Department of Environmental Conservation coming under fire, as the Coalition to Save Belleayre prepares to appeal to elected officials to step up pressure on the agency to complete and release the management plan as called for in the agreement.

Adding fuel to the fire were Gov. David Paterson’s remarks Thursday at the Dutchess County Democratic Party’s Salute to Labor dinner, when he announced the state may have to put on hold any improvements to the state-owned ski center.

The timing of the governor’s remarks, said coalition Chairman Joe Kelly, make its complaints all the more relevant.

Kelly called Paterson’s position “unacceptable.”

The agreement in principle was reached after more than eight years of review of developer Crossroads Ventures’ plan to build a golf resort on 1,200 acres of mountain land in Shandaken, along with another golf resort three miles west and adjacent to Belleayre Ski Center.

Instead, the agreement would make the 1,200 acres “forever wild” land and allow for a larger development next to the ski center. It also calls for the state to spend money on the expansion of the ski center.

The details of that expansion are to be laid out in the Unit Management Plan, which is a blueprint for the development of the state-owned facility. The agreement calls for that plan to be reviewed simultaneously with the Crossroads proposal.

Neither the state nor Crossroads has completed its plans. While Crossroads says it close to completion, the state agency is not.

“It seems to us that the DEC is currently sitting on this most important document with no sense of urgency as to its importance to our area,” Kelly said. “It is unacceptable that they continue to delay its release.”

Kelly has now written to the governor, asking him to give the matter his immediate attention to help Belleayre resume its role as an economic engine of the state Route 28 corridor.

“In a time of most difficult economic challenge to our rural communities, a bureaucratic delay for whatever reason must be overcome,” Kelly said. “We do not have the luxury of time, we need action now.”

Judith Enck, the governor’s deputy secretary for the environment who helped prepare the Agreement in Principle, said Monday that the state remains committed to the agreement. As for completing the Unit Management Plan, she said, “Slow and steady wins the day.”

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