RENewsletter | January 6, 2013


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“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”


[12/30/2012 – 01/06/2013]


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |



Opening Salvo:  “Protecting New York State’s environment against Fracking”


Why any state would assign their environmental protection agency (DEC in New York) with the task of enabling gas drilling companies to wreak havoc on their environment at all is very curious.  The DEC allowing the Fracking companies to frame the Revised Draft SGEIS as solely an engineering process, instead of an overall environmental issue, is like bringing the fox in to formulate henhouse security.


 If I were King of the World (don’t worry, a very unlikely prospect indeed), I would conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment by challenging any industry, especially a fossil fuel industry.  I’d make them prove to me that any process or chemicals they might use that might affect our environment be safe for the public and the environment in a world that is warming.  But alas, I’m not the king, just an ordinary citizen.


This Fracking debacle in New York State reached a higher level of absurdity this week when someone revealed the inner thoughts of state officials on the Fracking process’s potential health and safety to the media and all hell broke loose—which all sounds pretty emotional (and not science) to me. 


Is hydrofracking safe with DEC? A year-old state report leaked to the New York Times and Gannett’s Albany bureau says that hydraulic gas drilling can be done safely if the state Department of Environmental Conservation stays on top of the regulations. Never has there been an environmental issue in New York that has garnered so much emotion and attention than hydrofracking. A record-breaking 80,000 comments were sent to the DEC when it released its first review of the controversial process of extracting natural gas deep underground with sand, massive amounts of water and chemicals. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long delayed a decision on hydrofracking in the state, saying he will rely on science —not emotion. This is the same governor who directed a “white paper” on air pollution at the Peace Bridge that local academics were highly critical of for its lack of science. (January 3, 2013) Investigative Post


The problem of pushing Fracking on New York State is that you cannot contain the news from other places that Fracking is a really bad way to take greenhouse gases from the ground, which of course we shouldn’t be doing in a time of Climate Change anyway.  Fracking wells could be leaking 9% of gas, says recent research 


January 11th is now the latest drop-dead date to make public comment on the health and safety aspects of the regulations. But expressing your general concerns about the state of our environmental health, where our water quality is already lousy and thousands of Brownfields aren’t being cleaned up, isn’t on the plate:


The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments on its revised proposal to amend 6 NYCRR Parts 52, 190, 550-556 and Subpart 750-1, and to add Part 560 and Subpart 750-3, to address high-volume hydraulic fracturing. New York State High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Comments NYS DEC.


If you don’t refer to a specific section of Revised Draft SGEIS and miraculously ‘catch’ the DEC or the Fracking industry on some engineering technicality, you are not going to be heard at all.  It’s as if you cannot make a complaint about speeding cars in your neighborhood unless you know how to assemble a car.  My brain aches just thinking about what might go wrong drilling miles underground, then horizontally for more fossil fuels.  And you don’t have to be an engineer to be aware of the Fracking problems folks in other areas are confronting. 


All this Fracking furry is going on while a report was released that stated “According to a new analysis of thousands of U.S. women of child bearing age, most exceeded the median blood level for two or more environmental pollutants - lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) - that are known to harm brain development of fetuses and infants..”  And we are about to allow an industry to drill for our natural resources with chemicals they won’t divulge.  All sound too much to absorb?  Why not attend a local Letter Writing Party and learn how to fill out that Fracking comment before it’s too late?  (Click on my email for feedback)





* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook:  and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.


The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?


Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan


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My companion book to written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on and Kindle We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books




NewsLinks Environmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]





Updates Daily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]





Events Rochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.


January 2013


February 2013



March 2013



April 2013



September 2013





Action Take Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 





Award Environmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]