Another Big Reason Why Fracking is Wrong for New York State

Learn the Facts and Take Action Now

For the past two weeks disastrous flooding has overwhelmed our region. Imagine the catastrophe that would have taken place if the floodwaters that raged through our communities carried the waste from hydraulic fracking. Not only would the waters have destroyed everything in their path, the residue would have left highly dangerous toxic chemicals and radioactivity. On top of the damage and suffering we have already experienced, we would also be dealing with the health impact of the poisoning of our water, land and air.

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is experiencing horrible and dangerous conditions that create important lessons for us in New York. This picture of a flooded wellpad in Pennsylvania is triggering the very threats that we have outlined above.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to ban well pad development in 100 year floodplains, but there’s a critical catch – they acknowledge that the flood maps are out of date, have been unreliable in the past, will not be updated until late 2012 after permitting is proposed to begin – and we all know first hand that 100 year floods are now happening in places they never have before.   

Lastly, the dSGEIS was released after much of the recent rains and floods – and after the Governor and the DEC toured many of the affected areas. In the face of this graphic illustration of the threats of flooding and fracking the report was still rushed out to meet an artificial deadline and not withheld until this new data could be included as logic, sensibility and caution would dictate. As a result there is not a single reference to recent 2011 storm events in the entire dSGEIS, even in the section entitled “Analysis of Recent Flood Events”.   In fact this section of the report that deals with the potentially most serious issue related to fracking is ONLY 2 PARAGRAPHS and only references floods from 2004 and 2006 in one sentence.  Prior to Hurricane Irene there have been at least six deaths in the Sullivan County area in past five years blamed on flooding (see “Flooding is Deadly as County Gets Drenched” Sullivan County Democrat, October 5, 2010).  This willful attempt by the DEC to ignore the most critical issue around fracking is shameful.

Green-lighting fracking now and under the conditions proposed by the DEC will create a runaway train. Six months or a year from now when it becomes all too clear that New York is becoming the next Pennsylvania, it will be too late! The New York Times said Monday that the Governor’s administration “must not rush the process of creating detailed regulations that will be crucial to reducing risks to the environment.”

At this point, the only way to prevent being railroaded is to rally public opinion and let the Governor and the DEC know that New Yorkers do not want to repeat the tragic mistakes we have seen elsewhere and do not want to endanger our families’ health. 

The link between fracking and increased rates of asthma, infertility, ADHD, autism, diabetes, thyroid disorders, brain disorders, many types of cancer and other health conditions is documented, real and what you will be facing.

Based on extensive study and scientific evidence, Catskill Mountainkeeper has called for a ban on fracking because there is no safe way to do it. Nonetheless, we are working as hard as we can within the existing process to raise critical issues, pursue the best options available and widen the discussion of the impacts of drilling.

With each passing day the importance of acting right away becomes more urgent – so please act today:

1. Forward this message to your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to forward it on. Get educated, especially about the health issues and threats.  Please use the Catskill Mountainkeeper website as a resource.

2. Help us obtain signatures by health professionals to a letter asking the Governor and DEC Commissioner to rectify the omission of the study of human health impacts in the dSGEIS.  For full text of the letter click here; if you are a health professional click here to sign on.

3.  Sign our petition to ask Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Martens to extend the comment period to 180 days.

4.  Commit to going to as many of the public hearings as possible so that the force of our numbers will help the Governor see that New Yorkers don’t want dangerous fracking.  We will notify you when the dates and locations are announced.  

5.  Call President Obama TODAY at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 to tell him to reinstate the Safe Drinking Water Act and that you do not want Fracking. If the phone lines get jammed, send him a message here

6. Help Catskill Mountainkeeper to continue to help you. Leading this fight is an expensive undertaking.  In addition to travel, research, staff time and public outreach we are now gearing up for the legal fight, the next step. Please give generously.

or mail a check to:  Catskill Mountainkeeper, PO Box 381, Youngsville, NY 12791


About Catskill Mountainkeeper
Catskill Mountainkeeper is an independent, not for profit, 501c3 community based environmental advocacy organization, dedicated to creating a flourishing sustainable economy in the Catskills and preserving and protecting the area’s long term health. We address issues of water integrity for the Delaware and Susquehanna River Systems, the defense of the vast woodlands that encompass the Catskill Forest Preserve and the New York City Watershed as well as farmland protection. We promote “smart” development that balances the economic needs and concerns of the Catskill regions’ citizens and the protection of our abundant but exceedingly vulnerable natural resources.


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