Mark Ruffalo, Environmental & Health Professionals Organizations Applaud the Governors of New York, New Jersey & Delaware for Halting Construction of Dangerous Fracked Gas Export Terminal in the Delaware River & Taking Time for Further Review
September 10, 2020 -- At today’s meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission, representatives for the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Delaware voted to halt construction and to undertake further review of a dangerous fracked gas export terminal in Gibbstown, N.J. The facility proposed project, by New Fortress Energy, would be near the base of the Delaware River. The states will review all of the testimony that was submitted in a recent administrative proceeding contesting the original approval for the project in 2019.
Many public health organizations, medical experts, and over 130 environmental organizations have been raising concerns that the project is dangerous to public health and safety as well as the water quality of the river. Pennsylvania abstained from the vote and the federal government’s representative on the Army Corps of Engineers voted against delay.
Citizens have voiced opposition and submitted over 50,000 public comments this week. Prominent actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo, who lives nearby the river and is on the board of both Catskill Mountainkeeper and Americans Against Fracking, has been outspoken and created a petition and video about the dangers of the project.
“Taking the time that is needed to review the potential public safety and environmental risks that this dangerous fracked gas project poses is an important step forward. It has given the 15 million people who rely on safe drinking water from the Delaware River Basin a much needed sigh of relief,” said actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo. “It comes as no surprise that the Trump Administration’s representative on the Army Corps of Engineers voted against halting the project and reviewing the science and public safety risks, but thankfully the governors of NY, NJ, and DE did. Ireland has stopped the import terminal that the gas was slated for and there is no need for this project other than to line the pockets of fracking industry CEOs.”Read more
Governors of Four States Petitioned by 50,000 people to Vote NO Sept. 10
September 9, 2020, Governors’ Offices in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware – Fierce public opposition to the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Export Terminal proposed for Gibbstown, New Jersey on the Delaware River is being expressed today to the Governors of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, who are expected to vote on the permit tomorrow at a public meeting of the Delaware River Basin Commission.
“It is outrageous that the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) would even consider allowing New Fortress Energy to move forward with this proposal. This export facility would be shipping LNG to Puerto Rico, Mexico and other ports. Meanwhile, all four states in the Delaware River Basin are suing the federal government over the safety of transporting LNG by rail. The Gibbstown export dock is dependent on transporting this climate catastrophe product through Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities. New York's vote should not be a question! Exporting fracked methane at the expense of our planet is in complete contradiction to the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which is New York State law. We live in crazy times, but a "yes" vote on this proposal is just plain insane,” said Wes Gillingham, Associate Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper.
Representatives of organizations working in a coalition opposing the project are delivering flash drives today to each of the Governors at their state offices and to the Army Corps of Engineers who has the fifth vote on the Commission. The flash drive contains many declarations of opposition calling for a NO vote by the DRBC, which would stop the project. Included in the submission: 50,962 petitions, resolutions adopted by local governments along the truck and rail routes where the LNG would be carried to Gibbstown from northcentral Pennsylvania, and several sign-on letters from elected officials, community organizations, environmental groups, scientists and health professionals.
August 24, 2020 - Click the headline above to read the Daily Freeman's coverage of Mountainkeeper's ongoing work to stop illegal dumping.
August 21, 2020 - Click the link above to read the Daily Freeman's coverage of New York State's August 7th letter notifying the Town of Kingston’s Planning Board that the Hemlock Bluestone Quarry Archaeological District is now eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, giving the land special consideration during environmental reviews. The determination will require the owners of a proposed concrete and steel fabrication plant to conduct an additional archaeological assessment to determine if historic quarry resources are located within the proposed project area and if so, how the site preparation work (including blasting) and construction will impact these resources.
August 20, 2020
Historic Quarries Discovered in the Bluestone Wild Forest Eligible for National Register of Historic Places Listing
Impacts to quarry sites must now be considered in the environmental review for the proposed steel-and-concrete fabrication facilities at 850 Route 28
Town of Kingston, NY-- In an August 7th letter, New York State notified the Town of Kingston’s Planning Board that the Hemlock Bluestone Quarry Archaeological District is now eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, giving the land special consideration during environmental reviews. The District, located in the Bluestone Wild Forest near Onteora Lake and Pickerel pond, includes newly discovered 150-200 year old quarries and connecting wagon roads. The District is adjacent to and extends onto lands at 850 Route 28 in the Town of Kingston, a site proposed for development as an industrial steel-and-concrete fabrication plant.
“These historic quarries and the Waghkonk Wagon Road that served them are our link not only to the bluestone era in the Catskills of the 19th century but also to the Native American peoples who lived in these valleys and created trails as passageways through the mountains,” said Kathy Nolan, Senior Research Director for Catskill Mountainkeeper, “They must be protected,” she continued, “and they can often generate recreational and economic activity for their communities, while highlighting the special features of an area.” Close to 3,000 people have signed Catskill Mountainkeeper’s online petition to protect the Bluestone Wild Forest, Onteora Lake, and Pickerel Pond, prior to the announcement of this new discovery.
August 14, 2020 - Join Catskill Mountainkeeper and more than 125 other organizations and say “NO” to a proposed fracked liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal in Gibbstown, NJ that would pose serious environmental, health, and safety risks in the Delaware River Basin and beyond. We’re calling on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to reverse its misguided earlier decision to approve this dirty and dangerous terminal, and fulfill its duty to protect the region’s ecologically and economically important resources. DRBC could vote on the facility in an upcoming meeting. Your voice matters now, more than ever.Read more
Proposed Industrial Plant Could Drain Pickerel Pond and Harm Bluestone Wild Forest--Noise Impact Analysis Flawed and Inadequate
Concrete and steel fabrication plant adjacent to gateway to the Catskill Park puts 150 year old cultural and historic artifacts at risk
Town of Kingston, NY—Today Catskill Mountainkeeper and Woodstock Land Conservancy submitted new information to the Town of Kingston Planning Board outlining potential harmful impacts from a proposed industrial steel and concrete fabrication plant project at 850 Route 28 and calling on the Planning Board to require a full and comprehensive environmental review. The proposed industrial facility is surrounded by the Bluestone Wild Forest, which contains Onteora Lake, Pickerel Pond, and hundreds of miles of multi-use hiking and mountain biking trails.Read more
The Covid-19 crisis has changed absolutely everything for all of us. But, as our local communities, New York State, and the nation at large grapple with the implications of this human health and economic crisis, some bedrock truths have not changed: we need clean air, clean water, a stable climate, and justice for all, not only to survive, but to thrive and build a more resilient and sustainable future.
Over the next few weeks, Catskill Mountainkeeper will send a series of emails--entitled Now, More than Ever--exploring how we can work together to fix the broken public and private systems that have failed us and to advance the innovative policies that will drive the kind of systemic change needed to help New York State rebuild smarter and stronger as we recover from the pandemic.
EPA Fails to Protect Public Health & Enforce Environmental Laws—Catskill Mountainkeeper Joins Lawsuit to Hold Agency Accountable
NRDC represents Mountainkeeper and other organizations from across the US calling on EPA to issue emergency rule
Livingston Manor, NY - Today Catskill Mountainkeeper joined the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other grassroots groups from across the country in suing the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On March 26, 2020 the EPA announced a new policy allowing polluters like power plants and factories to determine for themselves whether or not they can comply with monitoring and reporting requirements and that the agency may or may not enforce failure to comply with permit requirements.
These monitoring and reporting requirements are critically important to protecting communities already burdened by pollution--monitoring and reporting are the way communities know if they're being exposed to additional toxins, and its often the monitoring and reporting that signals a problem in facility operations, before it becomes a crisis. Requiring monitoring and reporting and enforcing permits are some of the most basic and important ways the EPA enacts its mission to "protect public health and the environment."
In response, Catskill Mountainkeeper joined a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on April 1 calling on the agency to issue an emergency regulation amending its March 26 non-enforcement policy. Under federal law, EPA had one week to respond. The agency ignored the petition, and today the groups sued.
"Catskill Mountainkeeper has one ask of the EPA: do your job. The EPA was established to protect our communities and environment, but it is shirking its responsibility,” said Wes Gillingham, Associate Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper. “As our country struggles with a pandemic—one that is proven to be exacerbated by toxic air pollution—the EPA is allowing power plants, compressor stations, mines, well pads, and chemical plants to spew toxic pollution into our air and water without even the basic requirement that they report their emissions. The policies coming out of the EPA under this administration are downright dangerous, and now we have to force the agency to do its job.”
The NRDC and partners’ lawsuit is here: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/complaint-epa-non-enforcement-20200416.pdf
The NRDC and partners’ petition is here: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/petition-emergency-rulemaking-20200401.pdf
Save the Pollinators
Our award-winning new short film, Save the Pollinators, not only highlights the importance of pollinators for human survival, but also offers tangible actions you can take, right now, to protect these critically important creatures. The film features the efforts of local advocates, activists and farmers who have dedicated their lives to protecting pollinators.Posted by Catskill Mountainkeeper on Thursday, April 9, 2020
April 9, 2020--Catskill Mountainkeeper is excited to release our new award-winning short film, Save The Pollinators has received numerous film festival awards, including the Gold Award for Best Social Issue Film in the Independent Shorts Awards, and has been Officially Selected for the Anaheim Film Festival, Shriver International Film Festival, Kansas City Film Festival, and the Irvine International Film Festival. Save the Pollinators, which speaks to the importance of advocating for the lands and wildlife we depend on each day, will be available on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As part of the release, we held an online screening and expert panel discussion. Watch the recording of the event, held on April 9, 2020, below.
Pollinator Webinar 4.9.20
In the last two weeks, Mountainkeeper hosted online film screenings and webinars about protecting pollinators. Nearly 400 attended, and we've had many requests to share the recording. So here it is! We're all working from home so the resolution isn't what we'd hope, but the expert panel is fantastic, and the questions posed by the crowd were on point. You can watch the film in high definition on our facebook page, and the Q&A starts at 18 min.Posted by Catskill Mountainkeeper on Thursday, April 23, 2020