We are a non-profit citizen action coalition of landowners, farmers, business owners, and most importantly, tax paying constituents of the State of New York who own, manage and live in areas targeted for natural gas production including the process known as hydraulic fracturing or “hydrofracking”. We are united by our common interest to protect the lands we steward. Our lands include farms, forests, wetlands, lakes, and streams. Many hamlets, villages, towns, and cities depend upon the natural resources contained within this land we steward, especially our pristine water resources. As good stewards, we often put the protection of our land ahead of our own interests for the benefit of all who reside within the boundaries of New York State. We solemnly accept this responsibility because we know we are safeguarding our lands and natural resources for future generations.
We, the Land Stewards of New York, respectfully request our elected and appointed officials do the following:
1. Immediately Repeal Compulsory Integration, a form of Eminent Domain, enacted into law in 2005 at the behest of the gas exploration, drilling and extraction industry, which allows drilling and removal of natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing from privately owned land without landowner consent.
2. Enact a Landowner’s Bill of Rights to include, but not be limited to, a requirement that all representatives of gas exploration, drilling and extraction companies seeking to lease private lands are subject to an enforceable statewide solicitation permit; Gas industry agents seeking to obtain leases must provide detailed well site information including: size, scope, vertical & horizontal distances, duration of production; a “Material Safety Data Sheet” as required by Federal law for all chemicals, proprietary or otherwise, being used on the drilling site in any capacity; a detailed hazardous materials disposal plan for all waste associated with drilling including liquid, solid and radioactive; to advise landowners of the importance of baseline water testing of all potable water sources on their property targeted for a proposed gas lease; and a bonded reclamation plan as required by the Federal Bureau of Mining.
3. Establish a Compensation and Remediation Fund to be maintained by the State of New York and funded by all gas exploratory, drilling, and extraction companies who conduct such activities within state boundaries. The fund will be used expressly for remediating damages incurred by landowners and municipalities as the result of gas drilling including hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.