what the frack?
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC), the federal/state agency that regulates the 13,539 square miles that stretch from New York’s Delaware County south to Delaware Bay and includes much of Sullivan County, is scheduled to vote on a water withdrawal application from Exxon Mobil’s subsidiary XTO Energy for natural gas development in Broome and Delaware Counties in New York, at their meeting in West Trenton on May 11, 2011.
As part of their application Exxon Mobil is asking for the ability to withdraw up to 250,000 gallons of water every day from the Oquaga Creek, a native trout stream that flows to the West Branch of the Delaware River.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN
At a minimum, the DRBC’s handling of this matter is inappropriate. They are scheduling a vote on this enormous water withdrawal without study of its effects on the environment, wildlife, local agriculture and industry as well as local communities. They have not provided sufficient time for public comment. Further they are pre-empting the regulatory process of New York State where the drafting of rules regarding gas drilling is currently taking place.
The public was given just 10 working days notice of the scheduled vote. Trenton, the selected location for the hearing is over 4 hours from the site that’s affected, making it difficult for local residents to express their feelings about the proposed withdrawal and the effects of this action on the trout, benthic life and water quality of this richly diverse creek, nor the effect on the downstream West Branch and main stem Delaware.
The rush to consider giving Exxon Mobil permits is totally unwarranted considering that they do not have permits to drill gas wells, have not justified their needs and have not even applied for permits in New York State and the Delaware River Basin. This is clearly a play to preempt regulations that New York State has in development.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We, together, have proven multiple times during this war to prevent unsafe gas drilling, that when we mobilize we can be extremely effective in impacting how our governmental officials act. Not only is giving in to Exxon Mobil a bad decision based on environmental and process reasons, it also creates a dangerous precedent that others will look to emulate. Below are a number of ways you can help. Please take action to protect our river, our environment and our communities now.
1) Send a letter to the DRBC today and tell them to either table the vote and set up a public hearing with a 60-day minimum comment period, or to vote against the approval. Also tell the DRBC to schedule public hearings near the Oquaga Creek so affected citizens can participate in the process. Click here.
2) Send a letter to Governor Cuomo to tell him to take this off the docket in concurrence with New York’s past request of the DRBC to hold off until the completion of a New York State regulatory process. Click here.
3) Come to the public hearing in Trenton at 1:30 PM on May 11th at 40 West Upper Ferry Road, West Trenton, NJ. If we show up in numbers it will send a clear message. Click here for directions: West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company. We know this is a long trip but this is very, very important.
4) Schedule a time to speak at the May 11th meeting by contacting Paula Schmitt by phone at 609 883-9500 ex. 224 or emailing her at [email protected] and tell her you want to speak on the Exxon Mobil XTO proposed Docket.
5) Please send this alert to everyone you know.
Upcoming Events that Support this Campaign:
- May 7th: Join FrackAction for their 'No Fracking Way' Concert with Pete Seeger at the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY. For more information, Click Here.
- May 13th: Concert to Fight Fracking - Levon Helm Band and Arlo Guthrie at Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. For tickets and information, Click Here.