Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Catskill Mountainkeeper Action Alert July 1, 2010

Catskill Mountainkeeper

Action Alert

July 1, 2010


Join us on July 14th to demand a moratorium on all gas projects in the Delaware River Watershed 
On Wednesday, July 14th, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) is sponsoring a public meeting in Trenton, NJ to consider the application by Stone Energy to withdraw .7 million gallons of water per day from the West Branch of the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County, PA.


Upper Delaware River

While the DRBC has been responsive to public concerns about the dangers of gas drilling by issuing a temporary halt to permitting for production and exploratory wells while they review the process, the temporary halt is not comprehensive and only applies to wells that are drilled in shale.  They are still considering approval of water withdrawals for gas development, wastewater discharge applications, non-shale wells and wells that have already received state permits. 
The northeast regional offices of both the National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service have sent letters to the DRBC asking them to complete promulgation of new regulations and assess the cumulative impacts of gas development before allowing any well or water withdrawals to proceed.
If drilling is allowed for these wells, it will move ahead without DRBC oversight, and the potential for pollution and environmental degradation is very real.  It will also become a precedent to approve other similar projects.
We can't let this happen.  We need to tell the DRBC that we want a complete and total moratorium on gas drilling within the Delaware River Basin.
There are two things that you can do to help: 
Come with Catskill Mountainkeeper to the DRBC meeting at the
West Trenton Volunteer Fire Company on Wednesday, July 14th at 1:00 PM in Trenton, NJ.  We are sponsoring buses that will leave from Monticello at 8:30 AM. The price of each ticket will be $25 to cover the cost.  Please make a reservation in advance by contacting Beth at the Catskill Mountainkeeper office at 845 482-5400 or email her at She will give you the specifics about where to board the bus.  We anticipate that the people who are pro-drilling will be showing up in large numbers. It is critical that those of us who oppose unsafe gas drilling come out in force to make our views known to the commission. 
Join the National Park Service, the Regional Director of Fish and Wildlife, the
Delaware Riverkeeper, the Damascus Citizens for Sustainability and thousands of others by sending a letter to the DRBC telling them you want a moratorium on all gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin.  To visit the DRBC website click here.
Dear Delaware River Basin Commission Members, 
I am very concerned about how the development of natural gas extraction will affect the water I drink and the rivers and streams of the Delaware River Watershed. You have enacted a partial moratorium on gas development in the Basin, THANK YOU. But we need a COMPLETE AND TOTAL moratorium that will stop all natural gas related projects.
PLEASE expand the review and moratorium you have in place to include water withdrawals, wastewater discharges, all test and production wells, even those already permitted by the states, and non-shale gas wells. This COMPLETE AND TOTAL moratorium will allow you and the public the time needed to study this issue and develop natural gas-specific regulations. 
The moratorium needs to remain in place until you have completed a comprehensive analysis of the cumulative impacts of natural gas development on the Delaware River Watershed. The analysis you do of the potential impacts and the resources that would be affected will inform the natural gas rules you are developing and help to prevent pollution and the degradation of the environment and outstanding features of the Delaware River and its tributaries and watershed. 
Finally, because a COMPLETE moratorium is needed to prevent the slippery slope of piecemeal degradation, you cannot allow the Stone Energy water withdrawal to be approved. The impacts of the proposed withdrawal and consumption of .70 million gallons of water per day from the West Branch of the Lackawaxen River will have devastating impacts on this important tributary to the Delaware and will endanger the life and habitat of the creatures who live there and downstream on the main stem. Until you have analyzed the capacity of the Delaware to support the cumulative build out of water depletion that will be imposed here by gas drilling, you cannot begin to allow companies to get their straws in the water. Don't start giving away the river before you know the limits of our watershed for this consumptive use. This is the same problem that led you to enact your proactive and careful approach of deferring all gas well approvals until after your rules are adopted. Please employ the same precautionary approach-do not approve water withdrawals, including the Stone Energy withdrawal, for gas extraction and development until you know what the river has to give up-this is the only way to prevent degradation of this precious fresh water that more than 15 million people and countless creatures rely on for survival. 
Thank you for your forthright action to date-please take the next step and expand your review and defer all approvals of all natural gas-related projects until after you have completed a cumulative analysis and implemented natural gas regulations.

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About Catskill Mountainkeeper
Catskill Mountainkeeper is a 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.

Upcoming Event


Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo,
On Behalf of The Catskill Mountainkeeper
Would Like to Invite You to Join Them at the
2nd Annual Barnfest
Saturday July 31st, 2010 at the Adams' Barn in Beaverkill, NY
The Festivities kick off at 3:30 pm.
· · · · · · · · · · · · ·
There will be activities for the whole family,
plenty to eat and drink, art to buy, and
an important keynote by the renowned environmentalist
Bill McKibben
as well as
a performance by legendary folk musicians
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
· · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Barnfest is Free by Invitation
Please RSVP
by email at
or at
· · · · · · · · · · · · ·
Click Here
For more about Bill McKibben
For More about Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
To see a map/directions

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Long Time and No Posts

I am afraid that I have been posting here very often I will try to change that and keep this Blog up to date.