Gas Companies Threaten NY Water

Here is a recent Gazette letter to the editor from coop member Elizabeth Tobier. Thank you Elizabeth, for continuing to call attention to this important issue.

Did you read Adriana Velez’s article in the April 23, 2009 Gazette, “Coop Hosts Forum on Protecting New York City’s Watershed?” The article is about the March 21 event sponsored by our Environmental Committee to spread the news concerning a HUGE environmental disaster pending that will directly affect you, me and every other being in New York City. What is happening is that natural gas companies intend to drill in the Catskills, which is the location of the watershed where NYC gets its water. As soon as they get the go-ahead from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, these companies plan on trucking in or otherwise taking from local springs billions of gallons of water. They are going to add toxic chemicals to that water and then shoot that mixture a mile into the ground, using a method called hydro-fracturing, in order to get at the gas. At the end of the process, companies such as Chesapeake Energy hope to reap a big profit and leave it to the taxpayers to bear the expense of dealing with the incredible pollution of the air, earth and water that will be the result of their activities.

The companies have already leased up land in the Catskills and their lobbyists are visiting our legislators daily. Meanwhile, very few people in NYC even know that the source of our water is the Catskills, let alone have any awareness of the drilling threat.

The Sierra Club will be organizing future meetings and panel discussions around NYC to spread awareness and gather support for efforts by some to stop the drilling. Anybody can go to a meeting and hear much more detailed information about this issue. I hope this letter will encourage you to send an email to Carolyn Zolas of the Sierra Club, who can be reached at, and let her know that you would like to receive notices about upcoming meetings on this issue.

This disaster can be stopped by you and me and others, if we take action.
Elizabeth Tobier

To learn more about this issue, see our other posts on the watershed issue.