Governor Cuomo, Acting DEC Commissioner Seggos…
I live in Delaware County, New York in the town of Andes; about 8 miles as the crow flies from the route of the proposed “Constitution” frack gas pipeline. Friends on Coe Hill Road in the neighboring town of Davenport have had their land seized through an eminent domain court order, to provide the pipeline company an easement.
Despite the fact that your NYSDEC has wisely not granted the pipeline company the required 401 Water Quality Certificate, and the fact that FERC has not issued a construction order to proceed, the company has phoned and emailed at least one Davenport landowner threatening to chainsaw 400 feet of trees on his property to gain access to a stream the company hopes to eventually trench through. The pipeline company had planned to cut these trees earlier today. However, as far as I’m aware, this did not take place.
This landowner and most residents in the area feel threatened and intimidated by these illegal plans and aggressive strong-arm tactics from the pipeline company.
I believe the DEC needs to publicly state that the cutting of trees on private property must not take place unless the pipeline company has all necessary state certificates and federal permits in hand. The DEC should also reprimand the company for making false claims through intimidation to these New York landowners. Perhaps the New York Attorney General should be notified by your offices and asked to assist in this matter.
Another option for the Governor and the DEC would be to remedy this entire situation by immediately denying the required 401 Water Quality Certificate. This is an outcome impacted landowners and residents of all the counties along the pipeline route have been waiting and duly expecting since April of this year.
Please do everything in your powers to make this happen. Doing so would protect and defend these landowners and the pristine water quality the DEC and all New Yorkers have worked so hard to maintain.