Sunday, September 6, 2015

Impacts to Birds and Insects in the Susquehanna River Basin

I am posting this to my blog, since the images
made the bounce from the S.O. listserv....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Huston <>
Date: Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 10:12 AM
Subject: Re: [sustainableotsego] Looking for answer...
To: Maureen 
Cc: Sustainable Otsego 


Please consider this map of the Susquehanna River Basin (light blue region):

Orange squares are well pads (source SRBC)
Reddish dots are compressor stations (source: Clean Air Council)

One of the reasons for the "cumulative impacts analysis" 
of fracking and pipelines, which many people have been demanding
from FERC, EPA, US F&W, SRBC, US Army Corps of Engineers,
and other federal authorities under the federal National Environmental
Policy Act
is to look at large scale impacts, such as of migratory birds.

The insane thing is that only "endangered species" have standing for

I would estimate that 0.1% or less of the region's biomass is a member
of an an "endangered species" (as defined by US Fish and Wildlife),
then 99.9% of the regions biomass is unprotected

Please think just for a moment of the cumulative impacts of all of the water
contamination caused by all of these well pads. (see map below).

Please consider the cumulative impacts to air quality of all of those compressor stations. I would estimate the average air emissions for a station is in the range of 50k-150k tons per year in GHG emissions.

I have indicated two sites if interest to me.

1: Brown Star is the Seneca Falls Landfill in Seneca County, Waterloo, NY.
    Notice this site is in a different watershed. (the Great Lakes / Finger Lakes /
    St. Lawrence River Watershed)

2: Black Star is the i3 Electronics / Huron Campus waste treatment facility in Endicott, Broome County. 

Since April 2011, there has been a secret program established by DEC and Huron/i3 (was then called Endicott Interconnect, the new name of the former IBM facility), whereby they were allowed under a "Pilot Program" under an existing SPDES permit
to minimally treat and release up to 80,000 gallons per day of extremely toxic landfill leachate originating at Seneca Falls and Broome County landfills.

We know that Seneca Falls Landfill has accepted over 5,700 tons of drill cuttings from PA gas wells.

(And we have long suspected -- and heard rumors from reliable sources-- that Broome County Landfill is accepting liquid drilling wastes from PA which have been emulsified into a semi-solid with sawdust. This is difficult to follow the paper-trail, due to layers of indirection and multiple processing stops.)

Birds eat (among other things) insects. Ask yourself if the insects this year have been normal.

My observation is that in central Broome County, the insect population is very low.
I have regularly monitored a water crossing downstream of the i3/Huron outfall location.

I can remember times perhaps 7-10 years ago, in late June to mid August seeing huge clouds of mayflies swarming near the river.

For the last two years I have seen almost no bugs. Almost no mosquitoes. 
Very unusual.

If there are no bugs to eat, there will be fewer birds.

We may be witnessing what is known in population studies as
a "die-back" or commonly called a mass extinction, before our eyes.

I am just one observer. Would like to know what others have seen
w/r/t bug and bird populations last few years compared to say a decade ago.



On Sat, Sep 5, 2015 at 4:02 PM, Maureen wrote:

Each spring and summer during the 13-plus years we have lived at our Morris farmstead, we have welcomed scores of yellow finches at our feeders.  This season there has been absolutely none.  I've contacted NY Audubon in search of an answer, but have had no response as yet.  Anyone out there in SO know what's up? 

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

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