Saturday, December 3, 2011

(video) Mutiny at the DEC! Nearly 2,000 staffers speak against fracking!

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From Stephanie Low:

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FYI. I include "my" comments, which were received by phone around 6 PM from the DEC's Wayne Bayer and hand-written. I think they deserve wide distribution, coming as they do
from the belly of the beast. Here they are:

I'm here to deliver a statement from an employee of the DEC, Environmental Program Specialist and Executive Board member of the DEC's union, the Public Employees Federation (PEF). His name is Wayne Bayer and he speaks for the 1774 members of the professional, technical and scientific staff of the DEC, those on the ground who may be assumed to know the issues of fracking and the rdSGEIS best. His statement

"Three minutes is not an adequate amount of time to fully convey the concerns of Division 169 of the New York State PEF, or PEF/encon, who represent the rapidly declining professional, technical and scientific staff of DEC. Therefore, we will be submitting more extensive comments for the public record before the public comment period is over.

Almost everyone agrees that public regulatory involvement and oversight is necessary to protect the public, vital natural resources, and wildlife, as well as the natural gas industry itself from unjustified allegations of mis- and/or malfeasance with gas extraction activities.

The point PEF/encon wishes to make loud and clear today is that the 25% reduction in existing staff at DEC has crippled our ability to carry out all existing regulatory and statutory responsibilities assigned to our agency.

There is NO FRACKING WAY we can presently, honestly and adequately add any new responsibility as labor-intensive as regulating, monitoring and inspection activities related to high volume hydraulic fracturing of natural gas. DEC would also be hard pressed to adequately provide emergency remedial response in cleanup assistance for a major accident of any kind. Till there are adequate staffing resources available, the moratorium should be extended."

Then, since I had 33 seconds left over, I added a couple words about
friends of mine presently dying from lung and pancreatic cancer, and
those dead in the last 18 months from similar cancers. I said
"Don't do this. Ban fracking now." and that was it.


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