With 30 years of experience, Paul A. Rubin has established himself as a respected expert in hydrogeology and karst geology in the Hudson Valley region. He has authored over 50 technical publications and over 100 reports and affidavits, many for private clients, environmental groups, towns, and law firms. Projects include land, wetland, water quality, and species protection; aquifer and watershed characterization; mine evaluations; development proposals; contaminant assessments; stream hydrology grant work; and flood risk. In reviewing the potential impacts posed by proposed land development projects, Mr. Rubin has demonstrated a marked expertise in identifying potentially critical issues involving groundwater and fracture systems that were overlooked by other experts. The consideration of these issues have often resulted in positive changes, benefiting both client and the public, to proposed projects prior to approval.
Primary services offered by this consortium member can be found on the following pages (click on to see):
State University of New York at New Paltz, M.A., Geology, 1983
State University of New York at Albany, B.A., Anthropology, minor Geology, 1977
Independent Consulting Hydrogeologist
1993 to present
Provide hydrologic and geologic technical consulting services to environmental groups, Towns, business associations, law firms, and individuals. Assist groups in identifying issues and developing strategies designed to protect groundwater and surface water resources, community character, and wildlife habitat.
Work includes SEQRA reviews, review and analyses of consultant reports and environmental impact statements (EISs); contaminant characterization, geologic investigations; stream and wetland evaluations; geotechnical analyses; hydrologic and geologic mapping; water quality assessments; watershed delineations; aquifer analyses; hydrogeologic analyses; regulatory assessments; GIS map preparation; technical presentations to judges; report and affidavit preparation.
Recent project work examples include oversight and analysis of well field pumping tests (for multiple groups including NRDC, NYPIRG, Riverkeeper, and Trout Unlimited) designed to assess impacts on groundwater and surface water stemming from a planned large-scale Catskill Mountain resort; assessment of a town’s water quality problem with corrective recommendations; initial hydrogeologic assessment of a spring water source being considered for bottled water use; hydrogeologic-aquifer analysis of a groundwater supply proposed for a Shawangunk Ridge retreat center; SEQRA assessments; and technical presentations and testimony before administrative law judges.
SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge, New York
Taught ArcGIS, Environmental Geology, Geology, Hydrology, and Geography. Coordinator of a Geographic Information Systems certificate program. Developed, obtained, and completed a NYSDEC grant to assess assorted hydrologic and environmental aspects of the Black Creek watershed in Ulster County. Supervision and oversight of numerous professional adult “students”, directed GIS-based technical presentations, and coordinated and produced grant products.
Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.
Research Scientist, 1991-1993
Under contract with the U.S. Dept. of Energy; Oak Ridge National Lab; Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge, TN, responsible for hydrogeologic evaluation of groundwater issues (e.g., characterization, monitoring network setup, data analysis, remedial design evaluation) at multiple Oak Ridge Reservation hazardous waste sites. Developed and documented conceptual model of carbonate and shallow storm flow systems comprising pathways of rapid contaminant transport. Work also involved characterization of hydrologic and geochemical trends and thermal infrared photo analysis. Presented results of research at conferences, as well as to DOE management and State and Federal officials. Served in a Resource Management Organization as the hydrologic lead for the Environmental Sciences Division.
NY State Attorney General’s Office; Environmental Protection Bureau, Albany, NY.
Responsible for the design, protocols, coordination, implementation, evaluation, characterization and remediation of many major water and soil contamination sites throughout New York State (e.g., Love Canal, Superfund sites). Designed, performed and supervised chemical field sampling at hazardous waste sites. Evaluated geotechnical and chemical data sets.
Primary responsibilities included coordination of multiple companies along with their respective legal and scientific consultants. Worked with all parties involved to produce test plans and consent decrees to facilitate site remediation. Responsible for the management of the testing, site characterization and technical assessment. Worked with attorneys on summary judgment motions, complaints, trial preparation and depositions. Attorney General’s spokesperson at public meetings. Expert witness at SEQRA hearings. Testimony given before the Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation and Grand Jury. Worked with DOL staff and attorneys to develop office initiatives (e.g., Racketeering; bottled water contaminants). Initiation, development and drafting of legislation.
Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., Geotechnical Division, Boston, Massachusetts.
Directly responsible for the planning, preparation, execution, and analysis of pumping tests and a fluid sampling program designed to investigate deep basin groundwater characteristics for the siting of a nuclear waste repository within the Permian Basin of the Texas panhandle. Planned, managed, coordinated, directed, and provided oversight of field operations of a multi-million dollar project. Sub-contractors included Halliburton, Schlumberger, and others.
GAS DRILLING RELATED REPORTS, PRESENTATIONS & INTERVIEWS
January 23, 2012 – Speaker at Press Conference. Topic: Fracking, Aquifers and Earthquakes are Connected. Conference held in Albany, NY in Legislative Office Bldg. press room before multiple TV stations and other press entities. Open discussion, Q&A, and initial presentation shared with Dr. Arthur N. Palmer, hydrologist. Press conference sponsored by Schoharie Valley Watch and Sustainable Otsego. This press conference preceded a major anti-fracking rally in the capital area that called for a legislative ban on hydraulic fracturing.
January 23, 2012 – Assemblyman Office Meeting. Private meeting between Paul Rubin and Dr. Arthur Palmer and representatives of Assemblyman Robert K. Sweeney’s [Chairman of the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation] office. Sweeney requested the meeting to address questions they had relating to local and regional groundwater flow as related to transport of hydrofracking contaminants.
January 10, 2012 – Aquifer & Karst Protection Considerations in Schoharie and Other New York State Counties (Comments on the NYS High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing 2011 revised draft SGEIS). Technical report that addresses the need for tracer addition to fracking fluids, vulnerability of karst terrains, limitations of well bore sealant materials, aquifer protection and other issues. In addition, analyses are provided in support of an empirically-based 2,100 foot setback distance from well arrays, the high probability of well bore sealant material failure from earthquake events, and a flood return analysis supporting no well pads within 500-year floodplains. Documentation was provided in support of NYSDEC withdrawing their revised draft SGEIS on gas drilling regulations. [Full report, related figures and analyses are available upon request.]
December 2011 – Contributor to Protecting Pennsylvania Communities from the Shale Rush: A Handbook for Local Residents and Officials by Delaware Riverkeeper Network, 76 pages.
December 6, 2011 – Speaker at Press Event. Topic: Technical Justification in Support of Requiring Cabot to Immediately Resume Water Deliveries to Adversely Impacted Residents of Dimock, PA [Public statement made at a press event held in Dimock, PA on Dec. 6, 2011 with associated 5-page technical statement]
Oct. 2011 to Present – Advancing hydrogeologic and chemical characterization of hydrofracturing related groundwater contamination cases in support of active, high-profile, litigation. Work involves site field work, groundwater sampling, hydrogeologic characterization and mediation sessions.
November 23, 2011 – Authored an affidavit in support of Dimock, PA Petitioners’ Petition for Temporary Supersedeas requesting that the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board restore the status quo to conditions prior to the Pennsylvania DEP’s determination that Cabot Oil and Gas Corporation may cease supplying affected residents of Dimock, PA with temporary potable water due to Cabot’s compliance with paragraph 6 of the December 15, 2010 Consent Order and Settlement Agreement, Section 208 of the Oil and Gas Act and related environmental regulations. The affidavit addresses geologic and hydrogeologic factors governing water quality degradation of homeowner wells. The affidavit is Exhibit J of a legal petition filed by the law firm of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik & Associates, LLP.
November 17, 2011 – Presented a Power Point presentation in West Virginia at a Special Meeting of the County Commission before commissioners, town and planning board members, the public, and the press titled: Hydrofracking, Karst Vulnerability and Degradation of Water Resources. The final recommendation provided was to enact a temporary moratorium to be followed by a permanent statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
November 15, 2011 – Drafted a 10-page report on behalf of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability addressed to the Division of Municipal and Residual Waste, Bureau of Waste Management’s Special Conditions General Permit WMGR064 addressing hydrologic issues associated with Natural Gas Brine Dispersal on Roadways and the Risk of Surface and Groundwater Contamination.
October 15, 2011 – Led an all day field course addressing Hydrology & Hydrofracking for The Heldeberg Workshop based near Albany, New York. The course was designed for teacher development and 8 credit hours of in-service credit. Abridged course description: A hands-on field look at aquifers that supply our wells and streams with pure water. While touring local nature preserves, take a close look at the major aquifer types (unconsolidated, fractured bedrock, karst) and join in discussions of how groundwater and contaminants move in them, how freshwater aquifers are physically separated from deep, saline, waters and how they provide the sustained base flow to our streams. Hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) will be extensively discussed, inclusive of means of methane and contaminant movement from gas-rich shale beds to explosive flares at kitchen taps.
October 2011 – January 2012 – Developing an affidavit for a legal challenge designed to force the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the Army Corps of Engineers to follow federal environmental laws and do a comprehensive environmental impact study before they issue their draft gas rules as final and before any drilling starts. The affidavit will address numerous hydrogeologic/technical issues and will detail likely “irreparable harm” to freshwater aquifers and streams should gas drilling under the proposed regulations be advanced. The affidavit will be filed in federal court by the Delaware Riverkeeper Network.
October 2011 – Conducting research for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network for a report that will assess the seismic risk to dams from hydraulic fracturing.
October 6, 2011 – Presented expert testimony to the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation in Albany, NY. Testimony subject: Protection of Freshwater Aquifers: Hydrogeologic and Seismic Threshold Requirements. Received a personal thank you letter from Robert Sweeney, Chairman of the Assembly ECC.
September 8, 2011 – Freedom from Fracking plenary conference speaker for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network at a conference in Philadelphia, PA called Shale Outrage. Plenary talk topic: Gas Wells & Hydraulic Fracturing: A Means to Long-Term Aquifer Degradation.
September 8, 2011 – Freedom from Fracking workshop conference presenter for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network at a conference in Philadelphia, PA called Shale Outrage. Talk and workshop topic: Our Aquifers, Our Drinking Water: Casualties of Gas Development.
September 6, 2011 – Panel Presenter: Provided expert testimony before the Citizens Marcellus Shale Commission (Southeastern Pennsylvania Hearing in Philadelphia) detailing hydrogeologic thresholds that must be met in order to safeguard freshwater aquifers in perpetuity.
September 2011 – Completed a second two-sided Environmental Fact Sheet for the Delaware Riverkeeper summarizing 1) key short and long-term risks to groundwater quality in Delaware River Basin aquifers stemming from gas drilling in a seismically active region, and 2) a recommended preliminary hydrologic test procedure designed to reduce contamination of homeowner wells proximal to proposed gas wells. Fact Sheet title: What the experts have to say about … Natural Gas Drilling, Seismic Risk & Aquifer Degradation.
July 8, 2011 – Preparation of a report for the Sierra Club (Pennsylvania Chapter) on the Underground Injection Control Permits Issued by the Environmental Protection Agency for Bittinger Wells #1 and #4 for disposal of fracking-related waste. This work entailed review of technical material, preparation of graphics, and collaboration with Katherine Beinkafner (Mid-Hudson Geosciences). [The report and thirteen related graphics are available upon request.]
June 8, 2011 – Presentation at a special joint meeting of the Town of Sullivan Town Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Planning Board in Chittenango, New York (Madison County). Power Point presentation title: Hydrologic Considerations Relative to Mining in a Karst Terrain & Contaminant Risks to Fresh Groundwater Supplies Stemming from Hydraulic Fracturing.
June 2011 – Constructed an Environmental Fact Sheet for the Delaware Riverkeeper summarizing key long-term risks to groundwater quality in Delaware River Basin aquifers, as well as other aquifers throughout the world, stemming from gas drilling. Fact Sheet title: What the experts have to say about … Natural Gas Drilling & Aquifer Protection. [The Aquifer Protection Expert Fact Sheet is available upon request.]
April 9, 2011 – Prepared comments on the DRBC draft Natural Gas Development Regulations; Article 7 of Part III – Basin Regulations on behalf of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network. [The report and related figures, plus a related summary June 2011 Aquifer Protection Expert Fact Sheet, are available upon request.]
April 2, 2011 – Interviewed by Sabrina Artel for a radio talk show. This is part of her Frack Talk – The Marcellus Shale Water Project. Items discussed included flaws in current gas drilling technology that will lead to widespread groundwater contamination in gas fields, failure mechanisms in “protective” cement sheaths and steel casing, life of production wells vs. life of aquifers, and seismic risk in the Delaware River Basin.
February 18, 2011 – Delivered a Power Point presentation for Delaware Riverkeeper as part of a day-long webcast workshop on Translating the DRBC Gas Rules. Talk title: How the draft rules address hydrogeologic impacts of gas development.
February 10, 2011 – Representative of several Towns (Highland, Lumberland et al.) at a special work session of the Upper Delaware Council’s project review committee. Assisted the UDC in their review of the DRBC’s Draft Natural Gas Development Regulations in Narrowsburg, New York.
November 15, 2010 – Prepared a report on behalf of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network and the Damascus Citizens for the Sustainability for the Delaware River Basin Commission Consolidated Administrative Hearing on Grandfathered Exploration Wells. [The report and 10 related figures are available upon request.]
September 11, 2010 – Provided comments on the Scope of the Proposed EPA Study of Hydraulic Fracturing. Prepared on behalf of Otsego 2000.
December 30, 2009 – Provided significant geologic and hydrologic input into a 45-page letter authored by Zarin & Steinmetz, attorneys for Otsego 2000. The letter provides extensive comments on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Program: Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low Permeability Gas Resources (“DSGEIS”). [The letter is available upon request.]