Making Democracy Work

Environment

Promote an environment beneficial to life through the wise management of natural resources in the public interest by recognizing the interrelationships of air quality, energy, land use, waste management and water resources.

League urges Astorino to Reassess Safety of Spectra Algonquin Gas Pipeline

August 18, 2015

The Honorable Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive, 900 Michaelian Office Building, 148 Martine Avenue, White Plains, New York 10601

Dear Mr. Astorino:

The League of Women Voters of Westchester urges you to step back from signing the license agreement that will enable Spectra Energy to move forward with the Algonquin Incremental Market pipeline project in view of the dangerous situation recently come to light with the disclosure of internal documents from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

You are aware that this project is sited dangerously close to our Indian Point Nuclear Facility. The fact that the studies used by Entergy and an NRC internal risk assessment on which they have based their findings have been found, through a FOIA request, to be flawed should give Westchester pause. One way the County can do this is by you, as County Executive, exerting leadership to hold up to scrutiny the finalizing of the licensing agreement regarding use of Blue Mountain Reservation, which the company needs to use as a staging ground in order to proceed with the project. Given the close proximity of the staging area to Indian Point and the flawed studies, we must, at all levels of government, insist upon a new, independent, transparent, comprehensive risk assessment by the NRC and Entergy, certainly before signing the licensing agreement.

Based on League positions on environmental protection and responsible government, we urge your timely and forceful action on this issue in order to protect the 20 million people living within 50 miles of Indian Point.

Respectfully submitted,

Marylou Green, President

Susan Schwarz, Environment Portfolio

LWV Responds to Algonquin Pipeline Expansion Project

The League of Women Voters of Westchester, NY, opposes Spectra Energy's proposal to greatly enlarge its Algonquin natural gas pipeline, lengthen its route and expand five existing compressor stations through ecologically sensitive areas and urges careful reconsideration of the project by the Commission.

LWV Letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

LEAGUE ASKS GILLIBRAND AND SCHUMER TO HELP PROTECT 20+ MILLION PEOPLE LIVING WITHIN 20 MILES OF INDIAN POINT

Dear Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand:

The League of Women Voters of Westchester urges you to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regarding their approvals of the siting of the proposed Spectra AIM Pipeline expansion in close proximity to Westchester County's Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. These approvals have been based on data that, through a FOIL request, has recently been found to be flawed. An independent, transparent, comprehensive risk assessment is called for. Based on League of Women Voters positions on environmental protection and responsible government, we urge your leadership on this issue in order to protect the 20+ million people living and working within 20 miles of Indian Point.

Respectfully submitted,

Marylou Green, President Susan Schwarz, Environment Portfolio

Videos Track Issues of Shale Gas Fracking in New York State's Marcellus Shale, a League Concern

"See Video"https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcHngw3x1btk8Pt7zfko62obzTnhnWIHc

What are the prospects for shale productivity in New York, should high volume hydrofracking be permitted? What motivates investors and drillers? What can we learn from Pennsylvania's experience? What risks would such drilling pose to New York, and are consequences for New York of drilling in neighboring states?

In this series of talks held on January 16, 2014 at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, you will learn what few people outside the drilling industry understand. Cornell Professor Tony Ingraffea sets up the scenario in his introduction. Energy investor Chip Northrup helps us decode the hype and the truth behind industry claims of drilling prospects. Brian Brock details the geology of the Marcellus shale formation, and how that geology relates to well productivity. Jerry Acton develops and tests a model that shows us what to expect in New York based on well data from Pennsylvania. And Lou Allstadt ties all the previous talks together to project the rewards to drillers and risks to New Yorkers posed by the prospect of horizontal drilling in New York State.

Susan Schwarz sdschwarz@aol.com, Feb. 2014

League finds facts about potential economically recoverable Marcellus shale natural gas in NYS

The LWV NYS Commissions Report on New York's Economically Recoverable Shale Gas(4/21/2014)

The New York State League of Women Voters contracted with Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. to perform an evaluation of potential economically recoverable Marcellus shale natural gas in New York. As a result,it was determined that New York State's proposed 2014 Energy Plan lacks the vital information uncovered by this nonpartisan study.

League Commissions Report on New York's Economically Recoverable Shale Gas

League Commissions Report on New York's Economically Recoverable Shale Gas(4/21/2014) The New York State League of Women Voters contracted with Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. to perform an evaluation of potential economically recoverable Marcellus shale natural gas in New York as a result of determining that New York State's proposed 2014 Energy Plan lacks this vital information.

Read full report

PRESS RELEASE:

Monday, April 21, 2014

The League of Women Voters of New York State Commissions Report on New York's Economically Recoverable Shale Gas The League of Women Voter of New York State has contracted with Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc. to perform an evaluation of potential economically recoverable Marcellus shale natural gas in New York. The resulting report: Resource Assessment of Potentially Producible Natural Gas Volumes from the Marcellus Shale, State of New York was completed by petroleum geologist Arthur Berman and petroleum engineer Lyndon Pittinger, both with more than 30 years' experience in the energy business. The report, available on the League of Women Voters website (http://www.lwvny.org), concludes that New York is unlikely to have conomically recoverable shale gas volumes at current gas prices and overall, resource estimates are significantly smaller than those indicated in previous studies.

The decision to obtain this study arose as a result of New York State's proposed 2014 Energy Plan for which public comments are due by April 30, 2014. The proposed plan includes among its potential sources of future energy a projected increase in reliance on New York's Marcellus shale gas, yet also reveals it is not yet clear what fraction of economically recoverable natural gas reserves are located in New York. According to Elisabeth Radow, Chairwoman of the New York State League of Women Voters' Committee on Energy, Agriculture and the Environment, "the omission in the proposed plan's section titled `Natural Gas Report' with respect to the New York's Marcellus shale gas reserves undermines the overall usefulness of the report and more importantly, New York's ability to plan with clarity for our citizens' future energy needs." Consistent with the League of Women Voters' commitment to transparency, education and advocacy, rather than merely noting in its comments to the proposed energy plan the omission relating to New York's shale gas reserves, the League enlisted energy industry experts to perform an analysis of economically recoverable shale gas from New York State.

For this analysis, Arthur Berman who has published extensively on shale well performance collaborated with Lyndon Pittinger to provide an independent perspective of the unconventional shale gas potential of New York by analyzing publicly available data. Based on their analysis of regional geologic trends and production data from over 4,000 active Marcellus wells in Pennsylvania, the most prospective areas in New York are likely to be located in southeastern Chemung, southern Tioga and southwestern Broome Counties. Other areas may be productive, but are not as likely to be commercially viable. At current gas prices near $4.00 - 4.50/MMBtu (Million British Thermal Units), the results of this study indicate that no area in New York is likely to be commercially viable. If natural gas prices rise to $6.00/MMBtu (gas price referenced to Henry Hub point of sale 1), contingent resource volumes of natural gas from the Marcellus Formation in New York State are estimated to range from 0.8 to 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas (Tcf) depending on the uncertainty about areas accessible to development due to regulation and other factors and assuming the de facto moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is lifted. If gas prices rise to $8.00/MMBtu, the resource estimate ranges from 2.0 to 9.1 Tcf, also depending on uncertainty about access to development.

In addition to its intended use to help facilitate planning for New York's energy future, the League of Women Voters of New York State seeks use of this nonpartisan report by scholars, economists, educators, policymakers and citizens alike for such applications as economic forecasting and regional planning. The report may be reprinted with full attribution to the League of Women Voters of New York State.

1 For additional information on Henry Hub pricing, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Hub)

Green Lawns Blue Waters

Just published by the League: "Green Lawns Blue Waters,", a guide to healthy gardening. The project was funded through a grant from the Westchester Community Foundation. For copies call (914) 332-1301.

Download the pdf of the Green Lawns Blue Waters

Also available for downloading here are three related brochures:

Rain Barrel Toolkit

Rain Garden Toolkit

Permeable Pavement Toolkit

Additional Online Resources (March 29, 2014):

BIRD FRIENDLY YARDS:

BUILDING NATIVE HABITATS: ALL ABOUT INVASIVE SPECIES: RAIN BARRELS & GARDENS Rain Barrel Toolkit layout-rev7-LWV.pdf Rain Garden Toolkit layout-rev6-LVW.pdf Permeable Pavement Toolkit layout-rev5-LWV.pdf

SOIL TESTING AND PEST/DISEASE CONTROL ADVICE:

LEAF MULCHING:
  • Love ŰEm and Leave ŰEm leaf mulching initiative with testimonials, landscapers info, and homeowner ýhow tosţ - http://www.leleny.org

ORGANIC YARD CARE: BENEFICIAL INSECTS FERTILIZERS: PESTICIDES: HAZARDOUS WASTE: USEFUL BOOKS:

´ Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden by Jessica Walliser; Timber Press 2014 ´ Bringing Nature Home ˝ How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy; Timber Press 2009 ´ WhatÝs Wrong With My Plant? (And How Do I Fix It?) by David Deardorff and Kathryn Wadsworth; Timber Press 2009

Have a Beautiful Garden Without Treating Your Health Like Dirt

Maintain a poison-free property with solutions to common lawn and garden problems.

Download Brochure - Have a Beautiful Garden Without Treating Your Health Like Dirt

Be an Observer of the County Legislative Environment Committee

Open to anyone who wants to observe it, our County Legislative Environment Committee becomes opaque if no one shows up to see what's going on. Issues that affect your home, town and taxes directly are discussed and positions are recommended in these committee meetings.

That's where the LWVW can be an invaluable "fly on the wall", reporting on and publicizing the issues this committee discusses. No other non-profit group fills this niche. The fact that we are non-partisan carries extra weight in the minutes we report.

The more of us who join, the easier it will be. Just one afternoon every other month (currently Mondays at 3:00) and a few paragraphs of minutes that will be disseminated on our website. This will create a valuable resource to those interested in the workings of our local government and it will create another tangible reason to support our local LWVs with membership and donations.So give it a try. It's fun and usually very interesting. And you might just find out what the county is up to in your home town!

To sign up for the Environment Committee Observer Corps. contact Susan Schwarz (sdschwarz@aol.com or 914-332-130