To the Woodstock Town Board:
Our organization, Save Cooper Lake, gratefully respects and acknowledges the diligence of KingstonCitizens.org and the Woodstock Land Conservancy and is committed to working with them to defeat the audacious and short-sighted water grab being perpetrated on us all by the Town of Ulster, the Niagara Bottling Company of Irvine, CA and the Kingston Water Board, and their preposterous plans for a heavily-subsidized Ulster bottling plant. We urge the Woodstock Board to actively consider at this time to determine how the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Woodstock are exposed with regard to this extraordinarily large and ominous water deal that has been struck behind closed doors by these three parties.
We’re also concerned that the terms and conditions NOT referenced in the 1929 Water & Power Decision places the Kingston Water Board and the Town of Woodstock in a “protocol” that could have out-of-date applications, and provide improper assumptions to current-day protocols and practices, as recklessly interpreted by our modern courts.
It’s also of great importance to note that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has given notice of 13 water withdrawal permit applications under New York’s new water withdrawal permitting law and regulations to date. Despite the clear wording of the new law, as pointed out in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, the DEC continues to rubber stamp the water withdrawal permit applications it has been receiving and refuses to conduct the reviews required under the state environmental quality review act (SEQRA) and the state’s coastal zone management laws.
Therefore, in order that we, the Town Board and residents of Woodstock, can make informed and educated decisions about these risks and how we can defend our water rights, urgently request that the Woodstock Town Board retain the services of qualified attorney who specializes in water and water rights issues who can advise us of our rights and obligations by no later thanNovember 25, 2014. This request will take on particular urgency if the Town of Ulster denies Woodstock’s request to be included as an “Involved Agency” in the SEQRA process at its board meeting this Thursday, November 20.
Time is of the essence.