CENTER TO BECOME REGIONAL ORGANIZATION

Over the last seven years, the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities has evolved from a small non-profit focused on Schoharie County to an organization working to build vibrant, livable rural communities in a five-county region of Upstate, NY. The Center is now poised to take the next step and become a regional non-profit serving New York and New England. Over the next 12-18 months the Center will be reorganizing, applying for operational grants, conducting a search for additional board members and moving their physical headquarters to a location in Southern Vermont.

The lessons learned and expertise developed will help the Center address issues of environmentally-compatible economic development, sustainable energy policies and increasing rural access to arts and technology for a much broader and diverse group of communities. Center board member Bob Nied said “we look forward to the new challenges and welcome the input and partnership of individual volunteers, activist groups, elected officials and foundations across the region. In the interim we remain committed to our core initiatives including mitigating the impacts of fossil fuel infrastructure on rural communities, encouraging sustainable energy initiatives, fostering open and responsive local government and empowering residents to effectively advocate for themselves, their families and their communities.”

The Center will continue to be available locally by calling: 518-872-3903 and visiting this website.

Natural gas pipeline under construction

CABOT-WILLIAMS ANNOUNCES NEW CONSTITUTION PIPELINE ROUTE impacting hundreds of property owners across the region.

At a special meeting filled with angry residents, Williams representatives, which included lobbyist and former Republican candidate for governor John Faso, presented the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors with maps showing what they are calling the new "preferred route” for the 127 mile long 30” high pressure natural gas pipeline that would dissect the county, running as close as 150 feet from homes. In at least one case a resident indicated the proposed route would be less than 75 feet from their residence.

CLICK HERE to view maps of the proposed pipeline route through Schoharie County.

CLICK HERE to view maps of the proposed "Preferred Route" and "Alternate Route M" pipeline route through the Davenport area. NOTE: the Davenport area maps are not as detailed as those presented for Schoharie County. As soon as clearer maps become available they will be posted on this site and the Stop the Pipeline site.

HYDRO-GEOLOGIST FILES AFFIDAVIT WITH DEC ON BEHALF OF THE CENTER, saying that water contamination is assured if fracking is allowed.

Paul Rubin, an independent consultant and former NY City DEP scientist has filed a comprehensive affidavit with the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation in which he states that the unique geological formations underpinning much of Upstate NY will act as a vector for contamination of private drinking water wells and entire aquifer systems if hydraulic fracturing is allowed to be conducted in the region. Mr. Rubin says that the “draft regulations provide recommended setback distances from well pads that are so short that they will do little to protect the water resources of New York State, inclusive of aquifers and homeowner wells.” He goes on to say that the setback distances prescribed in the DEC’s draft regulations on fracking “have no defensible scientific or hydrologic basis and thus, fail to fulfill the Cuomo administration’s stated intent that hydraulic fracturing regulations will be based on science.”.

CLICK HERE to read the affidavit submitted to the NY State DEC on behalf of the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities.

CLICK HERE to read a whitepaper detailing potential contamination paths that would result in a substantive risk to NY State water supplies if fracking is allowed .

THE CENTER FOR SUSTAINABLE RURAL COMMUNITIES OFFERS FREE CONSULTING AND TRAINING for local governments, citizen’s groups and individuals on subjects related to building sustainable rural communities, including: land use policies, comprehensive planning, sustainable agriculture, environmentally-compatible economic development, open government and expanding access to technology and the arts in rural areas. For more information call: 518-872-3903 or SEND US AN EMAIL

Center Establishes toll-free Landowner Assistance Line

If you are a landowner impacted by the proposed Constitution Pipeline and have received a threatening letter from the pipeline company's lawyers or see pipeline crews attempting to access your property without your permission, call: 1-800-795-1467.

Recommnedations for landowners threatened by Constitution Pipeline

The Center has updated recommendations for landowners impacted by the proposed Constitution Pipeline. CLICK HERE to view the recommendations.

PLEASE NOTE: Recommendations are provided for informational purposes only. They are not offered as, nor should they be considered, legal advice. Impacted landowners should consult with a qualified attorney before taking any action in response to correspondence from a pipeline company and/or threats of action through eminent domain.

Center Sponsors Social Issues Art Exhibit

The Center for Sustainable Rural Communities announces an exhibit by Woodstock area artist, activist and founder of the art movement funism, Norm Magnusson. Cast aluminum sculptures that look like “historical” markers have been installed along busy thoroughfares in Sharon Springs, Schoharie, Cobleskill and Richmondville. CLICK HERE to to view maps of sculpture locations.

Instead of commemorating a civil war battle or the birthplace of a famous person, the sculptures highlight a contemporary social or political issue, adding the weight of historical importance to today’s concerns. The text on each one is carefully crafted to provoke thought without alienating the viewer. For example, one of Magnusson’s sculptures reads: “On This Site Stood Meri Green. Last year her company had record profits, laid off ½ of its US workforce, sent the jobs overseas, and still got massive Federal subsides.“

Work by Magnusson appears in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Springfield Museum of Art, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art and the Pember Museum. In a review in the New York Times, Ben Gennochio called Magnusson’s work “unsparing and pitiless” and said that the art focuses “our attention on pressing contemporary social and political issues.”

CSRC Board member Robert Nied said of the exhibit “this is work that exists not just as physical art but also as a catalyst for conversation and community dialog. Art should elicit a reaction – a smile, a memory, an idea, even a criticism.”

An exhibit opening and talk by the artist will be held on Saturday May 31st at hive gallery on Main Street in Schoharie from 7-9 PM. Admission is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and maps showing the location of the sculptures will be available.

The sculptures will remain in place until July 31, 2014.

This event is made possible (in part) with public funds from the Decentralized Program of the New York Council on the Arts administered through the Community Arts Program by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

The Center Submits Pipeline Comments to FERC

The Center for Sustainable Rural Communities has submitted formal comments on the Federal Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Constitution Pipeline.

CLICK HERE to view comment on physical and cyber-security threats to the proposed pipeline.

CLICK HERE to view comment on fugitive emissions from natural gas processing and transport.

CLICK HERE to view comment on potential for fracking build-out to be facilitated by pipeline.

CLICK HERE to view comment on conflicts of interest related to pipeline infrastructure approval.

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