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
Groups praise Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for making the state’s ban on fracking permanent law as part of the 2020 NYS Budget
Albany - Environmental and public health organizations applauded Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature for permanently banning hydraulic fracturing as part of the 2020 NYS Budget. This year, the Governor and both houses of the legislature prioritized the fracking ban: Senator Jen Metzger and Assemblyman Steve Englebright introduced legislation to permanently ban hydraulic and gelled propane fracking, and Governor Cuomo included the hydraulic fracturing ban as part of his executive budget. The final budget addresses both forms of fracking by enshrining the state’s hydraulic fracturing ban into permanent law, and kicking off a process to ultimately ban the dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking.
"The science on the dangers of high-volume hydraulic fracturing is clear and non-controversial, and agreement to institute a permanent statutory ban is a big victory for public health and the environment," said Senator Jen Metzger. "The bill I introduced in December would have also banned fracking with gelled propane, and while the budget language doesn't quite get us there, it puts us on the right path and would effectively head off any industry stampede for permits to use this destructive process."
Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo said, “While Trump is rolling back environmental regulations, Governor Cuomo, Senator Jen Metzger and the New York State legislature are protecting our water, air, land and public health by enshrining the fracking ban into state law. Thank you to our elected leaders and all the New Yorkers and the Onondaga Nation and Native people who dedicated their time and energy to organizing the anti-fracking movement.”
Sandra Steingraber, PhD, a biologist, author, and co-founder of Concerned Health Professionals of NY, said, "Never has the importance of listening to science been clearer. New York State's ban on fracking follows overwhelming scientific evidence that drilling and fracking are disastrous for the environment, climate change, and public health. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and the New York State legislature for enshrining the ban on hydraulic fracturing into permanent law and moving toward a ban on the equally dangerous practice of gelled propane fracking. This is a truly momentous achievement."
"With this budget, New York State leads the world in stopping the environmentally destructive practice of hydraulic fracturing," said Ramsay Adams, Catskill Mountainkeeper's Executive Director."The historic ban is included today thanks to Governor Cuomo, the State Legislature, and all of the grassroots activists that have worked tirelessly over the years to bring this to fruition."Read more
We know we don’t need to tell you that these are tough times, or that COVID-19 is changing everything about the way we live, work, and play right now. But we want to share a few tips from all of us at Catskill Mountainkeeper about ways to stay happy and healthy as we navigate this crisis together:
Care for yourself and for others as you enjoy the Catskills. Being outside and active in fresh air is a great way to reduce stress, boost your immune system, and restore your spirit. We all need the comfort of being out in the natural world right now. Our Catskills region is blessed with beautiful trails and plenty of open space to spread out in, so as long as you maintain the recommended social distance (six-feet, or about one couch-length apart from others), use local trails, and do not add to overcrowding at our most popular trails and trailheads, you can get out there and enjoy the land that sustains us while protecting yourself and others.
- Eat fresh, local food. Governor Cuomo named farmers markets an “essential service,” so our farmers are doing all they can to get their great food to market. In Sullivan County, the Callicoon Market moved outdoors to Callicoon Creek Park last Sunday (March 22) to give everyone plenty of space, and Mountainkeeper’s Food & Agriculture Advisor, Eugene Thalman of Sprouting Dreams Farm, reports that the relocated outdoor market is already a great success.
Click "Read More" below for resources to guide you to some of the best outdoor spots, rules for hiking and walking safely and responsibly, as well as what you can do to combat invasive species while you’re on the trail. Below that you’ll find additional information about where to find a farmers market near you and some best practices to keep us all healthy while we shop locally.
Remember--whether you’re on the trail or at the market, keep your distance. Six feet is about the length of a typical, three cushion couch--so stay a couch-length away from the people around you, unless you live with them. And though you’ve heard it a million times already--wash your hands for a full 20 seconds before you go and after you return.Read more
March 13, 2020--As a Catskill Mountainkeeper supporter, you’ve been at the forefront of the movement to protect New York from fracking. Now our state has the opportunity to codify the fracking ban, making it stronger and giving it the force of law. Act now: call on the Senate and Assembly to ban fracking in New York for good.
Thanks to your tireless efforts as well as the work of our State Assembly, Senate, and Governor Cuomo, in 2015 the Governor announced a historic regulatory ban on hydrofracking. This ban has safeguarded our communities from the grave public health and environmental risks associated with fracking that have been documented by more than 1,600 peer-reviewed studies. But now it’s time to protect New Yorkers over the long term by codifying the ban to give it the full force and weight of law, expand its prohibitions to include gelled propane fracking, and protect us from the whims of future governors.