Rochester Sierra Club

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2013 Forum

Take Action for our Environment

3rd Annual Greentopia Fest – Something For Everyone – Join Us!

  • WHEN: Sept. 10-15, 2013
  • WHERE: All over Rochester, but mostly in the High Falls area
  • WHAT: So much you won’t believe it!

Greentopia is a project of Friends of the GardenAerial (FOG), the non-profit that is seeking to make the downtown High Falls area a showcase of environmentally sensitive urban design and economic development. Greentopia is an opportunity for FOG to share their vision, and also for every single one of us to come together over all things “green” in Rochester and beyond.

Greentopia 2013 includes a fiveday film festival, a wide variety of live musical acts throughout Monroe County, a design festival (think fashion, media, art), and yes—the EcoFest that your Rochester Sierra Club has participated in since the Festival’s inception. And this year for the first time, Greentopia also includes a “Futures Summit,” a conference with over 30 speakers who will share exciting, creative visions of the future.

[Volunteers at Ganondagan Native American Festival, July 2013 Photo by Kevin Vickers ]

Join us at our booth: Help staff our booth for an hour or two, Saturday, 9/14, 10-6 or Sunday, 9/16, 11-5. We’ll be focusing on fracking and protecting our fresh water. No experience necessary—it’s fun and easy, and we’ll pair you with an experienced volunteer if you’ve never done this before. To help: 585-234-1056 or .

Join our recycling efforts: Experience has shown that Festivals can keep over 95% (yes!) of their waste out of the landfill through recycling and composting if and only if people receive some quick and gentle direction at the waste stations about what item should be thrown into which bin. Be a Recycling Ranger and staff a waste station for an hour or two! This is an important, concrete way that you can help to make the festival a near zero waste event. To help, contact Dave at .

Fracking – New York State Update & How You Can Help

by Linda Isaacson Fedele, Chair

The “de facto” moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas in New York state celebrated its five year anniversary in July. “De facto moratorium” means that while there isn’t an official moratorium here in New York, fracking is still on hold while the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Health (DOH) complete required reviews of the fracking process and its likely effects. It’s been five years since then Governor Paterson required the initial generic Environmental Impact Statement to be conducted by the DEC.

This past Fall, citizens and experts drew attention to the fact that fracking is causing illness in humans and is killing some farm animals in other states where the process is being used, and convinced New York state officials to conduct a health impact review. The DOH did produce a document which purports to address health impacts. As of this typing, it is being reviewed by a small team of medical experts chosen by state officials; they may finish any time now, and drilling permits can possibly be issued at that point.

Many think that the health impact review cannot be comprehensive because of the short time in which it was produced, and also note that entire process was conducted behind closed doors. Many are urging Governor Cuomo to scrap the existing health impact review and start over with a full, comprehensive health impact study conducted in a transparent manner.

While we don’t know when a decision will be made on whether to allow fracking in New York state, we know that we cannot sit idly by and wait. Throughout the Summer, at festivals we circulated a petition to Governor Cuomo asking for him to ban fracking in New York state. Did you sign it? If not, give us a call and we’ll send you a copy via e-mail or regular mail —your decision.

How You Can Help: Would you like to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in New York relative to fracking? Want to learn how to take meaningful action? We are seeking individuals to get involved in one or more of the following ways:

  • Join a Sierra Club fracking email list and keep up-to-date on the discussion
  • Participate in every-otherweek conference calls to find out what’s happening statewide
  • Share information from the above activities with our active members
  • Involve more people in effective action against fracking

Interested? Call us at 585-234- 1056 or e-mail: .

From National Sierra Club

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