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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Thursday, July 7, 2011
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org
Sarah Eckel, Legislative & Policy Director, 202-486-9007 (mobile), seckel@citizenscampaign.org

CITIZENS CAMPAIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT RELEASES LANDMARK MAPPING PROJECT OF HYDRO-FRACKING LEASES IN 8 FINGER LAKES COUNTIES

The First GIS Maps of lands leased for hydro-fracking in New York’s Wine & Bread Basket

(Albany, NY) – Today,Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) released its Finger Lakes Region Gas Lease Mapping Report – an extensive mapping project spanning 8 counties throughout the Finger Lakes Region. Over a 15 month timeframe, CCE identified and reviewed gas leases for more than 20,000 parcels and using GIS, have mapped these parcels to provide the firstlook at the potential extent of industrial gas development throughout this important region of the our state.


“New York’s Finger Lakes region is defined by slender glacial-cut lakes, award-winning wineries, productive agriculture, and tourism that beats out Italy and California,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE’s Executive Director, “ We are calling on DEC to use this new information to provide a meaningful cumulative impact analysis in the new draft SGEIS to protect these signature areas.”


The previous draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (draft SGEIS), released last year, did not contain a cumulative impact analysis of hydro-fracking in New York State. Cumulative Impacts are used to determine how an industry will impact the surrounding environment. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said they did not have the resources to assess the number of leases throughout the state and therefore, could not provide the needed cumulative analysis.


“The Finger Lakes supply drinking water to 1.5 million residents in the region and the Mapping Report shows that these areas can be significantly impacted by gas drilling,” said Sarah Eckel, Legislative & Policy Director, “The residents that will be impacted deserve to know how industrial gas development will change where they live, work, play, and raise their families.”


Counties mapped include Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Schuyler and Steuben Counties. The project looked at leases from 2005-2010. Key Findings for these counties include:


• The report identifies over 20,000 leases with energy industries within the 8 counties.
• The report identifies that 602,000 acres of land are leased to energy companies, which represents 30% of the region with in the 8 counties.
• The largest percent of gas leases to total county acres is Cortland County at 41%.
• The greatest amount of acres leased in any county is within Steuben County with 212,133 acres leased which represents 23.6% of the County.
• The two energy industries obtaining the largest percent of leases in these counties are Chesapeake- Appalachia Energy and Talisman Energy USA, each with leases for over 200,000 acres of land within the 8 counties, representing about 71% of the area’s leases.
• The smallest percent of gas leases to total acres is Ontario County at 7%

Download the full report (PDF, >23MB)

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  7/6/11