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Catskill Citizens mails 10,300 letters, DEC receives more than 40,000 in total

By Fritz Mayer

January 13, 2012

January 11 was the last day letters to the DEC could be postmarked and still be considered by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the proposed new gas drilling rules. On that day, Bruce Ferguson, a member of Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy, along with members Carolyn Duke, Jill Wiener, Ann Finneran, Laurie McFadden and Roy Tedoff delivered boxes stuffed with about 10,300 letters to the US Post Office In Callicoon Center.

Ferguson said the letters came from New York as well as many other states, which is allowed by the DEC. He said the concern about hydraulic fracturing is nation-wide, and the campaign to prohibit it in New York is seen to be the front line in a much larger effort. All of the letters delivered expressed opposition to hydraulic fracturing. Ferguson said that as of the previous Friday, comments to the DEC were running 10 to one against the process.

Catskill Citizens was not the only entity sending messages up against the deadline. In one of their first acts as a body, the newly installed Sullivan County Legislature passed a resolution asking the DEC to withdraw the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, (SGEIS) because county legislators have serious concerns about the proposed rules.

Areas of concerned listed by the legislature included impacts of drilling and fracking on public health, socioeconomic impacts on communities and groundwater contamination.
The resolution said that that because there is so much more research to be done to address the concerns enumerated by the county, “it is the county’s view that proceeding toward a final SGEIS at this time would be inappropriate.”

Other entities submitting comments on January 11 included Judith Enck, the regional director of the US Environmental Protection Agency. She sent 26 pages of comments proposing dozens of changes to the document, including a recommendation that the state come up with acceptable limits of radioactive materials in flow-back water and other fracking related fluids before allowing them to be disposed of in any municipal treatment plants.


A bit off-topic but I just heard Moe Hinchey won't seek re-election and will retire at the end of his term !!! It doesn't get any better than that!

It is really great that so

It is really great that so many people are speaking their minds these days but the problem is that they want things such as pipelines stopped but we don't see any immediate, real, or economically achievable alternatives. All we hear is stop. This won't help anything. People need to eat now, they need housing now. I don't agree with the pipeline but lets get together and figure out a real way to fix things that is not only attainable to the rich.


People just want to get their way these days with social media and without care to what will happen to people and their families without money or food.

Did ya watch the video Jimmy?

Did ya hear ol' Fergie himself admit "the first one I randomly opened was from Illinois"? Another from Kentucky? I've seen comments from as far away as London, even Castro in Cuba against shale gas. (I'm sure it's very comforting to share his point of view) But here in NY, even with all their custom surveys showing 60 or 70 % of the local people against gas, it just doesn't appear true. The unmistakable truth is groups like The Sierra Club, Park Foundation and Catskill Mountainkeeper employ the same mantra,- tell a big lie, over and over and sooner or later people will believe it. Well, at least the gullible might. Even that inane rambling from "Dr." Jeanette Barth (BTW another NON-NY resident) in the Hancock Herald was complete rubbish, off point ramblings and typical time wasting maneuvers straight from the activists manual. The DEC's mission is To conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment, not to decide costs and benefits or winners and losers, or gas company's cash flow analysys. She goes on with DOT's estimate of infrastructutre improvments, etc., etc., just whatever brain dead rambling she could conjure up. The school that gave her a doctorate must be embarrased. But I'm sure the DEC will read that and the other useless logorrhea and transfer them to the 'round' file where they belong.

Thanks for cheering me up, Mr. Faux GW!

No one's called me Jimmy since ball playing days. Here comes the pitch!

Now, I see to what you refer. You base your comment on a video where they are loading 10,000 letters, and you isolate the few that suit you? No surprise there, at all. Maybe you should have chosen Chubby Checker as your pen name, for all the twisting you do?

That you hammer an inane point about people who have submitted comments, who do not live in NYS, demonstrates how empty you are.

How about you? Your writing has a distinct flavor of Virginia?

To you, Janette Barth, is an "inane rambler"? Here is a portion of a quickly searched bio for her:

"Jannette M. Barth, Ph.D., principal of J.M. Barth & Associates, Inc., has worked in the field of economic research, demand analysis and econometrics for more than thirty years. Her former positions include Chief Economist, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Consultant and Account Manager, Chase Econometrics/Interactive Data Corporation. Dr. Barth received her academic degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland."

But, of course, anyone who disagrees with such a fine man as you, one who appears to lie about his own name, in direct contravention against a paper that forbids using fake names, why, anyone who opposes such a person who seems to lie about his own name, is an "inane, rambling, lying, hysterical, Castro loving, non-New Yorker"? Ouch.

Poor Mr. Wythe, the Virginian! Are you married to Marj H Bates? Oh, Mr. Wythe, you are a laugh riot of two continents!

That's a qualification?

To comment on the SGEIS? The Supplement Generic ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Statement, not ECONOMIC, E N V I R O N M E N T A L She's no more an authority than you. Just a mouth that roars with no teeth.

I can't help but see a little

I can't help but see a little irony in piling boxes of anti fracking letters atop an SUV.


Looks like a truck...

Irony, and opinions, are everywhere.

Let's kill the land, water, and air, for the majority, in order to "save" the land, for the minority.

Is that ironic, or just plain stupid?

Temper, temper, Jimmy

It's not a horse and buggy, now is it?

The desperate, nearly hysterical, pro frac'ers

are bewildered, and frightened, at how strong the grass roots movement against HVSWMSHF into shale is.

Do they really think the anti-frac'ing comments are not made by NYS VOTERS, and that the comments are "hysterical ramblings"? Have they read the comments? Of course, not. Does truth matter to them? Of course, not.

He should check the pulse of the people who live upstate, and are the strong majority, as opposed to his jlcny buddies, huddling together, in buses paid for by the industry, as they go lobby for their 30 pieces of silver.

Mr faux "W" below, should read the EPA Region 2 comments on the sGEIS.

"Fear mongering", "hysterical ramblings" and so forth, are terms used by the Shepstone's, employed by the EID's of the world, to try to draw attention away from the real life questions raised about the energy companies and their practices, let alone questions raised about where the industry wants to "invade" and drill.

Mr. faux "W" below, and his Shepstone colleagues, take pages from the same playbook as Romney, stating that people who speak truth to power, who speak of facts, who refer to science, and who raise legitimate questions, are "envious".

We speak of justice, and fairness, and issues. Envy doesn't enter the equation except in Mr. faux "W's" knuckleball world view, one filled with hysterical attacks, by the likes of "W", against his opposition.

Poor Mr. "W".

And still more...

Even more letters were hand delivered to the DEC by JLCNY, over 11,000 ALL from citizen landowners and NY STATE VOTERS. These letters were actually comments on the SGEIS not hysterical ramblings from mis-informed activists from all over the world. Even the Obama White House credits Shale Gas and the Hydraulic Fracking technique with economic benefits from lower prices to new jobs.
The American Council on Science & Health gives Mr. Ferguson's claims the acknowledgement they deserve listing his claims in "The Top Ten Unfounded Health Scares of 2011". http://www.acsh.org/news/newsID.1969/news_detail.asp