Friday, May 6, 2011

Act Now to Protect New York's Precious Water Resources

The New York State Senate is fast-tracking the Water Withdrawal bill (#S3798) which gives away New York's drinking water to the fracking and water bottling industries free of charge. Please act now to ask the bill's sponsor, Senator Mark Grisanti, to pull the bill and make the necessary changes to protect New York's precious water resources. The Buffalo City Council in Grisanti's district voted unanimously to become the first city in NYS to ban fracking. Urge Senator Grisanti not to undercut this initiative by facilitating water withdrawals for fracking. Urge your NYS Senators to vote no on this bill (S3798) , unless it is amended.

This bill by passing, further consolidates the control of NYS water in the hands of the Governor without his, as yet, taking a public position on whether Hydrofracking will be permitted in the State. Water control is an essential component for the hydrofracking industry. DEC is an agency of the state and is under the control of the Governor.

The bill is currently on the senate floor and will likely be voted on early next week Please call your Senators and the sponsors (see the phone list below). Request them to ask Senator Grisanti to pull the bill (S7398)

Talking Points:

1.)This flawed legislation has had no public hearings and will dramatically change the laws regarding your water rights (riparian and common law rights), while allowing the oil, gas and water bottling industries to withdraw billions of gallons of water from New York's lakes, rivers and aquifers free of charge.

2.)The bill is full of loopholes that will make it easier for the oil and gas industries to take the water they need for hydrofracking in New York and in Pennsylvania.

3.)The bill will limit the Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) authority to regulate water withdrawals for hydrofracking.

4.)The permits to be issued by the DEC will give priority water rights to large water users, while overriding the statutory and common law water rights for everyone else - homeowners, farmers and wine growers.

5.)And the bill does not affirm local control of water rights and uses.


A phone call and e-mail now to your representative is essential to stop this ill-conceived bill. To find your representative in the Senate, go to:

If you don't get your representative on the phone, leave a message. Ask to speak with the environmental staffer or appropriate person who can convey your views to your representative. Be sure to get their individual email so you can forward support materials (attached) and follow up with a phone call. Also, call the bill's sponsors and co-sponsors listed below. Tell them to vote NO on the Water Withdrawal bills (A5318A/S3798) It's anticipated that the bill will be voted on in the Senate next week in Albany, so please call district offices now.
Thank you.

The Coalition to Protect New York

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