So, maybe you went to one of the hearings or submitted comments to the DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) in the fall, or signed a petition asking that the Governor consider withdrawing the draft SGEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement) that many people believed was not sufficiently protective of the environment. What now?
The next step in the DEC process– unless the Governor asks the DEC for a do-over, as many have requested– is the preparation of a Final SGEIS. The Final SGEIS is supposed to address all the points brought up by the tens of thousands of comments submitted. That has yet to happen.
Some citizens, eager for their elected representatives to DO SOMETHING!! have been asking their NYS Senators and Assembly Members to try to get the dSGEIS withdrawn. That is not an effective “ask.” Due to the rules that govern the separation of powers between the Legislature and the Executive Branch, the environmental impact statements prepared by the DEC are not subject to political football games in the legislature. If you stop to think about this, you can understand why. If not, read more about it here.
Of course, elected officials are free to submit comments as individuals on the dSGEIS, and, like some local and federal officials, some have done so and made those comments publicly available. For instance, NYS Senator Antoine M. Thompson, the Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, has posted his comments here.
As noted in the post below, there is an opportunity coming up to visit with your local NYS legislators. And, there are some bills in the legislature that have to do with hydrofracking and horizontal drilling for gas. Read up on it, and then go be an active citizen and let your Senator or Assembly Member know what you think they should do with the “balls in the air in their field.”