Appalachian Basin

New Yorkers Let Your Voices Be Heard!

The New York State DEC released the latest version of the SGEIS this week and along with it a promise for public hearings as part of the 90 day comment period that is set to end on December 12. You can count on EID Marcellus, and the landowners we support, to turn out at these hearings in significant numbers to make sure the DEC hears the voice of the silent majority. Read on to find out how you can get involved.Well it’s official. We are in the final stretch of New York opening its doors to Marcellus development.  It is now more important than ever that we make our voices heard by attending hearings and sending comments to DEC to let them know New York farmers, landowners and communities value their property rights and are ready for the opportunities provided from the Marcellus (and other) Shale plays.

Getting Involved

There are three things that have to be done in the next 90 days to ensure this process moves forward and New York’s doors are opened in 2012. You can be sure those opposed to natural gas development will be putting in their 2 cents, and even 4 or 5, as our Rachael Colley reported as they attempt to influence final decisions and make their opinions appear to encompass the opinion of more New Yorkers than they actually do.

1. Read the full SGEIS

Hopefully, you have already been reading the draft SGEIS and figuring out the parts you like or don’t like about the proposed regulations.  Remember, you can only comment on the changes from the original document.

Our John Krohn has read the document and pulled out key information for EID readers. Please be sure to read his post on the socioeconomic study which says the Marcellus play could bring 6,200 to 24,800 full time positions to New York with wages reaching $420 million to $1.2 billion! Also, be sure to look through the draft released earlier this summer and John’s earlier run-down here and here. The DEC has also created some fact sheets on the Socio-economic Impacts and Traffic, Cumulative, Visual & Noise impacts that can help as you sort through the regulations.

2. Send in your comments! (link provided here)

Now, more than ever, you have the opportunity to be heard. Governor Cuomo has  opened a comment period of 90 days, which is more than is needed after 3 years of ongoing review. He’s also piggybacked the regulations approval process on top of the SGEIS, which is actually going to accelerate permit issuance when all is said and done.  Show him your appreciation and involvement by sending in comments  on the portions of the document allowed to be commented on.

Don’t waste their time or yours with parts that are not up for debate (as our friends on the other side will likely inevitably do), but send them your personal opinion of the work they have done with the 2011 releases. Be sure to be specific with your thoughts, allowing them no room to misread your position. We will be issuing fact sheets of our own to help all of you in this regard and until then our previous rundowns here, here and here.  As you recall from the EID Marcellus work at the XTO water withdrawal hearing in Deposit, we will be stepping up to assist you in every way.

You can submit comments through the DEC website or by mail to:

Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

3. Attend the hearings.

I know it can be tedious to sit through hours of testimony, trust me I have much experience here. But we can’t stress enough that this is your opportunity to have your voice heard, face to face with the DEC, personalizing your comments even further. NIMBYs will be brought in from Pennsylvania and all over New York and it is crucial that you get to the hearings that are nearest you, or all four if you can.

It is amazing what can be said in 2 minutes when you really think about what is at stake and the vast difference it makes to hear legitimate science in a frenzy of redundant, emotional hysteria. Do not let this opportunity to pass you by.

From DEC’s website:

DEC plans to hold four public hearings during the comment period for the SGEIS and regulations in November. The meetings will be held in counties in the Marcellus Shale area, as well as New York City. Dates and locations will be announced shortly.

In addition to EID-Marcellus, a good resource to help you learn of plans for attending these hearings is the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York who will most certainly be active here.

From what we have gathered, hearings will be held in Broome, Sullivan and Steuben Counties and, as stated above in New York City (that will be a dandy).  We will update as soon as we have the actual dates and locations in November, but in the meantime, please keep your calendars open.  And, stay tuned!  Our EID Marcellus team is on it and we will be heavily involved in helping ensure your voice is heard amidst the cacophony of negativism that will arise from the other side!

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