The DEC has pulled a Cheney and gone into the bunker on fracking with their defense attorneys – failing to appear at today’s Assembly hearing on the proposed fracking regulations. Maybe because they realized that they were about to be sued for their failure to hold a public hearing on the proposed fracking regulations – among other procedural and legal shortcomings.
Also absent was the DOH, who is supposedly in the midst of a quicky “health study” to add to their nano HIA from “almost a year ago,” ostensibly to be stapled hurriedly onto the last draft of SGEIS, which was already a mishmash of industry brochures, junk science, environmental gerrymandering, and a faux “economic impact” study.
Some really outstanding testimony, which was streamed online, and which Bill will have up on video. Notables were The Sandra, neatly summarizing matters – with a bit of wit – on the opacity of the rule-making process, as if the DEC had something to hide ?
Team Sandra is on track to deliver over 25,000 responses on the proposed regulations from her 30/30 project. Over 200,000 responses went in on Friday – and counting. To put that in perspective, the DEC received less than 700 responses on the previous draft of the regs. in September 2011. So bravo !
Also Lou Allstadt and Kelly Branigan (who read my testimony better than I could) who were sandwiched between stereo fracking shills, one of which was “Mushrooms” Moreau, who uncorked some real howlers, telling the visibly astonished committees that “Marcellus wells last 30 years.” And refusing, under cross examination from the committee, to cite any statistics whatsoever on water contamination – from any aspect of the process. Then pretending she’d never heard of the blowout in Leroy Township. Another frack flak acted like she had never heard of Pa. Act 13’s gag order on physicians. When it was explained to her by Barbara Lifton, she said “if that’s true, it’s egregious.” Which pretty much sums up the frack shills tedious denials, whose testimony consisted largely of TV Gas Blonde platitudes: “gas burns real clean” and jobs for locals – as frack truck drivers, hookers and shale shills. There was not one mention from the shills about the proposed regulations, no sections cited, nothing. 100% hot air.
56 witnesses, all but 6 (including the Shale Shill Odd Couple – Vick Furhball and Sue Dorsey) were neutral or anti-fracking. Most witnesses addressed the topic of the meeting – the proposed regulations. James Bacon, Attorney, Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition, did an outstanding job explaining New York’s atrociuos compulsory integration law. Also Dominic Frongillo, Deputy Town Supervisor, Town of Caroline, Roger Downs, my frack show sidekick Dr. Ron Bishop. Jannette M. Barth Ph.D., Economist, explained what a real economic impact study would consist of. Paul Gallay, President, Riverkeeper Inc. master of understatement, explained the big picture: This process has been the worst screw-up in the DEC’s history, chock full of reversible error. Larysa Dyrszka M.D., proved conclusively that not all blondes are dumb. Ruth Hardinger, Steering Committee Member, Damascus Citizens for Sustainability, Bill Huston video’d and testified, and many more. Over 12 hours. Great job by the Committees and most witnesses.
Assembly fracking hearing goes forward sans DEC, DOH
Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Robert Sweeney
A New York State Assembly hearing that opened Thursday morning featured testimony from local government officials, advocacy groups and scientists, but was without oral or written testimony from the Department of Environmental Conservation or the Department of Health.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is tasked with drafting regulations with respect to horizontal hydraulic fracturing, with input from the Department of Health as well as expert advice and public comment.
The Assembly hearing, still going on, will run through the rest for the day.
Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee Robert Sweeney, D-Lindenhurst, said even though the state agencies invited to participate in the hearing did not attend, the other interested parties comments would still be valuable, considering the issue.