Thursday, November 6, 2014

Last night 9 out of 10 of the Seneca Lake Defenders who were arrested on 10/29 for blocking the gates to the Seneca Lake Salt Caverns, where Crestwood Midstream is attempting to begin construction on what is planned to be the northeast hub for Natural Gas storage, were ordered to return to court on Nov 19.  The 10th defender, Dwain  Wilder, pled guilty to trespass, and was sentenced to 15 days in jail in Watkins Glen -- where he is right now.

for more information go to: 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Protesters to Hold Rally & Press Conference
Outside Court Arraignment on Wednesday

Arraignment for First 10 Arrested on Wednesday Evening, Large Rally Expected in Support
SENECA LAKE, NY – The arraignment for the 10 protesters arrested for blocking Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility gates on October 29 is this Wednesday, November 5th. They will hold a press conference at 6:00 PM outside the Town of Redding courthouse before their arraignment to discuss why they took an action of civil disobedience and the importance of stopping the gas storage facility expansion. A large crowd of supportive community members is expected.
WHO: The first 10 ‘We Are Seneca Lake’ arrested protesters, winery owners Lou Damiani and Justin Boyette, health professionals, and a large crowd of supportive community members.
WHAT: Press conference, rally, and court arraignment.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 5th at 6:00 PM.
WHERE: Reading Town Court, 3914 County Rte 28, Watkins Glen 14891
The arrested protesters include Master Sergeant Colleen Bolland-US Air Force (retired) of Elmira, Author and biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber of Trumansburg, 76 year old mother and grandmother Jeanne Judson and her son Patrick of Burdett, Patricia Heckart of Trumansburg, Roland Micklem of Geneva, Chuck Geisler of Ithaca, Nancy Kasper of North Rose, Katherine Rossiter of Sayre, PA, and Dwain Wilder of Rochester. Read more about the arrested protesters at

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yates County passes resolution against gas storage in the Town of Reading, NY!

In a 12-2 vote, Yates County Legislature passes a resolution against gas storage on the Western Shore of Seneca Lake.

Following over 45 minutes of public comment from residents of the county and others within the region, all speaking passionately in opposition of gas storage citing risks to health, safety, economy, and way of life, legislators had a short discussion and voted against Crestwood Midstream's proposed gas storage facilities in the town of Reading, NY.

One legislator stated: "This is not a vote in favor of Gas Free Seneca, this is not a vote against Schuyler County, this is a vote for Seneca Lake".

Following the vote, the legislature received a standing ovation, and several members of the audience embraced.  The Yates County legislature had written a "letter of concern" about the proposed projects in April of 2013, while all other counties surrounding the lake (with the exception of Schuyler) had drafted official resolutions in opposition to the proposed projects.  

This resolution leaves Schuyler as the sole County around the lake with a narrowly passed resolution in favor of the projects.  

Schuyler County Chairman Dennis Fagan has ties to the oil and gas industry and to Crestwood Midstream itself. According to the DC Bureau, "The company he had founded, Fagan Engineers,has done extensive work with companies involved in oil and gas production and pipelines. Fagan recently sold his firm to his brother and other partners, but he said he continues to receive payments from them as part of the sales agreement. Fagan Engineers is currently building a facility 15 miles south of Watkins Glen for Access Midstream, a joint venture partner with Crestwood in a Wyoming project valued at well over $100 million.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Exclusive: Chesapeake drops energy leases in fracking-shy New York

A Chesapeake Energy Corp. worker walks past stacks of drill pipe needed to tap oil and gas trapped deeply in rock like shale at a Chesapeake oil drilling site on the Eagle Ford shale near Crystal City, Texas, June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Anna Driver
NEW YORK | Tue Aug 6, 2013 7:52pm EDT

- Chesapeake Energy has given up a two-year legal fight to retain thousands of acres of natural gas drilling leases in New York state, landowner and legal sources told Reuters.
Landowners in Broome and Tioga counties, who had leased acreage to Chesapeake over the past decade, had battled the pioneering oil driller in court to prevent it from extending the leases under their original terms, many of which were agreed to long before a boom in hydraulic fracturing swept the United States...

Read More Here

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Protesters halt road work near eastern Utah tar sands mine
By Christopher Smart | The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published Jul 29 2013

Several environmental groups protesting tar sands development in the Book Cliffs region of southeast Utah stopped work Monday on a road that will serve a strip mine to be operated by Calgary-based U.S. Oil Sands.
Celia Alario, a spokeswoman for Canyon Country Rising Tide and Peaceful Uprising, said dozens of protesters had peacefully stopped road building on Seep Ridge Road and also interrupted mining operations at the East Tavaputs Plateau site. Protesters surrounded heavy equipment and, in some cases, chained themselves to it, she said.  
No one was arrested or cited, said Uintah County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Laursen. He confirmed that 50 to 60 protesters halted road work and, for a time, closed the county road. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pittsburgh-area shale settlement 'gag' questioned

  The non-disclosure agreement prohibiting Chris and Stephanie Hallowich from talking about the 2011 settlement of their high-profile Marcellus Shale damage case in Washington County, or saying anything about gas drilling and fracking, isn't unusual. It happens often in settling such cases.
But the insistence that their two minor children, then ages 7 and 10, are also bound by the "gag order" is.....
  The Hallowichs, who had been longtime critics of shale gas drilling, claimed that Marcellus Shale gas development -- including four wells, gas compressor stations and a 3-acre water impoundment -- adjacent to their 10-acre farm in Mount Pleasant, Washington County, damaged their property value and their health, including that of their 7-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son. They said air and water contaminants caused them to experience burning eyes, sore throats, headaches and earaches, and contaminated their water supply....

Read More Here

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gas Free Seneca Fundraiser 
Come support the efforts to keep Seneca Lake free from LPG storage. Gas Free Seneca has been mighty in its efforts to preserve our beautiful lake against the gas storage giant. With mounting expenses and fees of expert witnesses for EarthJustice, we need your help. Come together with us and have some fun, food and music to show support for all Gas Free Seneca is doing in their mission to say NO to Inergy.

Where? Damiani Wine Cellars, 4704 Rt 414, Burdett, NY 14818
When? Thursday August 22, 6pm

Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton
Rockwood Ferry

Good food! Damiani Wine!
Silent Auctions!
$10.00 donation requested but more is welcome!

Bring your friends and family! Please share this event. It takes a village to save Seneca Lake!

To donate in advance, or for more information: 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Come See GAS LAND 2 at Logans Inn in Dansville, Tonight,
Potluck with movie to follow!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Residents of Allegany County, NY and elsewhere are opposing plans to expand the Hyland Landfill in Angelica, NY to take more radioactive gas drilling wastes and further contaminate our water and air. 

The Hyland Facility in Angelica is applying to the NYS DEC for a permit to EXPAND their tonnage intake of waste. The first comment to submit is that the June 21st deadline (extended from the original June 7 deadline) is not enough time.

Please visit the fallowing link and comment on two permit applications by the Hyland Landfill currently before the NYS DEC.

For more information click here 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hydrofracking foes win in Dryden and Middlefield: New York appellate court rules towns can ban drilling

Hydrofracking protesters 

A New York state appeals court ruled today that towns can ban gas drilling, including hydrofracking, within their borders.
In two related decisions, the Third Appellate Division in Albany ruled that the Tompkins County town of Dryden and the Otsego County town of Middlefield had the right to ban drilling when they enacted their ordinances in 2011. The rulings upheld decisions by lower courts, and rejected arguments by drillers and landowners that only the state could say where gas drilling can take place.
Read More Here


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jail time in Schuyler, Chemung doesn't daunt spirits of Inergy protesters

With Seneca Lake in the background, Sandra Steingraber addresses supporters in their battle against the Inergy plan to store gas in the Town of Reading. 

Sandra Steingraber of Trumansburg, Michael Dineen of Ovid and Melissa Chipman of Hector told a cheering crowd of about 60 supporters in Watkins Glen that eight days in jail did nothing to change their minds about the danger of explosion, increased air pollution and other industrially related issues posed by the project.“I came out of jail re-forged for the fight,” Steingraber said. “We should not be the proving grounds for this industrial experiment.”

Read more here

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sandra Steingraber's Moving Letter: From Jail on Earth Day

Steingraber issued a letter from Chemung County Jail in Elmira, New York after being jailed for civil disobedience. 

....Stingray is my inspiration. How can I use my time here – separated from the whole human race by the layers of steel and concrete – to speak loudly and defiantly about the business plans of a company called Inergy that seeks to turn my Finger Lakes home into a transportation and storage hub for fossil fuel gases? It is wrong to compress and bury explosive gases in salt caverns beside and beneath a lake – Seneca – that serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. It is wrong to construct a flare stack on the banks of this lake, which will contribute hazardous air pollutants, including death-dealing ozone, into the air. It is wrong for DEC and EPA and FERC to turn a blind eye to a company that has, for the last 12 quarters, exceeded its permitted discharge of chemicals into this lake. It is wrong for a company to claim that basic geological knowledge about the bedrock itself, is a proprietary trade secret and hide it from the public and from the scientific community. It is wrong to deepen our dependency on fossil fuels in a time of climate emergency...

Read the rest Here

Tim DeChristopher Speaks Out After 21 Months in Prison for Disrupting Oil Bid


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Three Local Residents Sent to Jail for Defending Their Homes and Families

More than 150 people packed the Town of Reading (NY) Court on Wednesday, April 17 to witness what they believe is a shocking miscarriage of justice.
Three members of a group dubbed the “Seneca Lake 12” — massage therapist Melissa Chapman of Schuyler County, farm owner Michael Dineen of Seneca County, and Sandra Steingraber, PhD, author, biologist, and distinguished scholar at Ithaca College — were sentenced to jail terms for their resistance to the heavy industrialization of the peaceful rural region they call home.
“What has happened to civil society?” asked a stunned Helen Savich when she saw her hero Sandra Steingraber hauled off to jail.  

On March 18, Steingraber and 10 fellow residents of the Seneca Lake region, in a peaceful act of civil disobedience, blockaded a gas compressor station site run by Missouri-­‐based Inergy, LLP, on Seneca Lake. They did so to demonstrate their opposition to Inergy’s planned heavy industrialization of the Finger Lakes region, renowned for its natural beauty, vineyards, and tourism-­‐ and agriculture-­‐based economy.
Inergy’s gas storage and transportation project in the Town of Reading, right on Seneca Lake, threatens the water supply for 100,000 people.
All 11 protesters, along with a legal liaison, were arrested and charged with trespassing.
On April 17, Judge Raymond Berry of the Town of Reading imposed a fine of $375 for trespassing for Chipman, Dineen, and Steingraber, the three people appearing that evening. All three refused to pay (their statements are attached), and the judge ordered that each spend 15 days in jail.
“I think this is an unusually harsh sentence,” said Maura Stephens of the Coalition to Protect New York, “as it forces working people to give up income, lose time working on the land in this critical springtime, and sacrifice time with their families.”
Supporters of the defendants were shocked at the judgment, and concerned for the health and safety of their friends being sentenced to jail.
“Sandra was sobbing and hugging her family and us in that room off the hallway,” said Jan Quarles, wife of Michael Dineen. “I've never seen Sandra break down like that before, and I've known her for a very long time.”
Dr. Steingraber is respected worldwide for her scientific knowledge, eloquence, and commitment to everyone’s right to clean water, air, and secure food supply.
“If even someone of Sandra’s stature and fame can be thrown into jail because of her reasonable and deeply held convictions, can there be justice for any one of us?” asked Jack Ossont, a fellow Seneca Lake 12 protester who had appeared in court two weeks earlier with two fellow defendants. Ossont and others paid their imposed $375 fine with the help of community supporters.
Steingraber, Dineen, and Chipman are in jail now, but fellow activists will be holding vigils each evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at their places of incarceration. The vigils will continue until they are released. Steingraber is a featured guest on an upcoming episode of PBS’s Moyers & Company; see a short video 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

First California Fracking Challenge Is Defeat for U.S.

 The U.S. Bureau of Land Management violated an environmental law by failing to take the necessary “hard look” at the impact of hydraulic fracturing when it sold oil and gas leases in California, a federal judge said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, said the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act by relying on outdated reviews, conducted before the extraction process known as fracking spurred massive development of energy deposits, when the U.S. sold four leases in 2011 for 2,700 acres of federal land in Monterey and Fresno counties.
Read More Here

Cantabria becomes first region in Spain to ban fracking

"Those scavengers are bleeding the Earth." That is how Manuel López describes his battle against energy companies involved in fracking in Cantabria. The controversial hydraulic fracturing technique, to obtain gas from depths of over 2,000 meters, has been denounced by environmentalists all over the world because of its possible health consequences on people in surrounding communities.
López, an environmental technician from Santander, has joined forces with Daniel González, a public works engineer who lives in the Cabuérniga valley, and Ángel Saiz, the mayor of the town of Villacarriedo, to stop fracking in their northern region, as well as throughout Spain.
Read More Here

Saturday, March 23, 2013

NY court hears arguments on town fracking bans

US Gas Drilling Local_DuPr.jpg 

Backers of natural gas drilling and environmental advocates wrangled Thursday over whether New York’s towns have the legal right to ban oil and gas development in a fight that could ultimately be decided by the state’s highest court.
A four-judge appellate panel heard arguments over the local bans in Dryden and Middlefield, two central New York towns among dozens in the state that have passed zoning laws prohibiting drilling. Opponents argue state rules supersede such local restrictions.
Read more here



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Judge Rules In Favor Of Journalists, Unseals Fracking Court Records

Harrisburg, PA — 
A judge ruled today in favor of journalists seeking access to information about a fracking pollution court case.  Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca reversed an order by a Washington County court sealing the record in a case in which a Pennsylvania family sued several gas companies over property damage and health impacts related to air and water pollution from nearby natural gas operations.
Read more here



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Judge upholds Avon fracking moratorium, rules against Lenape 

A Livingston County Judge has issued a summary judgement dismissing the lawsuit filed against the Town of Avon by Lenape Resources, and upholding the Town's controversial moratorium against hydrofracking.... 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Please come to Rush to help our neighbors!

  Public hearing on extension of fracking moratorium:
• WHAT: Special Rush Town Board Meeting and Public Hearing; Topic: 6-month Extension of
   Hydrofracking Moratorium

• WHENWednesday, March 20, 7:15 PM

• WHERERush Pavilion  (near Rush Town Hall/Library building, at southwest corner of Route 251   and Route 15A. The Pavilion is across the parking lot from the Rush Library. Park in either the Town Hall lot off of Rte. 15A or in the Library lot off of Rte. 251)