Protecting Our Natural Heritage and Empowering Communities

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For the last 50 years the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has required federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts 
before making decisions that might negatively affect our natural resources. If an agency wants to permit a gas pipeline, build a toxic incinerator, or build a highway through Native American lands, it must notify the public and give the people an opportunity to comment on the proposed action. But President Trump's administration is planning to gut NEPA by exempting entire categories of projects from review and allowing companies to write their own assessments. This puts our air, water, public health, and communities at risk.

Catskill Mountainkeeper has been busy this winter, laying out our advocacy work for 2020 and cooking up fun events for our region. We’ve released our 2020 Action Agenda, outlining our top policy priorities for the year, and we’re working with partners to secure funding for the Catskill Park and Region, planning for a snowshoe fun run and walk on the O&W Rail Trail, and spreading the word about the Climate Action Film Festival. Read on to learn more about each of these actions and events, and thanks so much for all you do to make our region such a great place to work, play, and live.

January 20, 2020 -- 

Albany - Governor Cuomo announced the introduction of a bill to permanently ban fracking as part of his New York State 2020 Budget. Advocates and environmental organizations across the state applauded the Governor’s leadership on this important bill to permanently protect the public health and environment of New Yorkers for generations to come. 

In 2015, Governor Cuomo’s administration, including the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Health, announced the completion of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) process and a public health review that found high-volume hydraulic fracking was a danger to public health and the environment and therefore it would be not permited in New York State. Since that time, more than a thousand additional peer-reviewed scientific studies have been published that overwhelmingly confirming the serious public health and environmental risks and harms of fracking. Governor Cuomo’s announcement today was welcomed and applauded. 

Actor and long-time anti-fracking advocate Mark Ruffalo, "Today Governor Cuomo showed our state and the nation once again what real climate leadership looks like by announcing a legislative fracking ban as part of NYS 2020 Budget. By listening to the science, he is on the right side of history in working to ensure that NY's fracking ban becomes the law of the land.”

“Governor Cuomo’s bold announcement to pursue a permanent fracking ban will protect New Yorkers’ health, water, and the communities we cherish, and we call on the New York State Legislature to make the ban law” said Ramsay Adams, Catskill Mountainkeeper’s Executive Director. “Between today’s announcement and the nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is walking away from powering our grid with fossil fuels. In the years since Governor Cuomo implemented the regulatory ban on fracking in New York, the science has become indisputable: fracking isn’t safe.”

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