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Paul Gallay
Paul Gallay is the president and Hudson Riverkeeper. Riverkeeper is a 50-year-old, member-supported organization devoted to the protection of the Hudson River and the drinking water supply of nine million New Yorkers.

Gallay has worked for over 25 years to protect the environment and support local communities, as a non-profit executive, public official and educator.

During his 13 years of service with New York State’s Attorney General and Department of Environmental Conservation, Paul and his colleagues, often working with local watchdogs, shut down unrepentant polluters; expanded programs to reduce contamination in the Hudson; forced sewage plants, landfills and other public facilities to cut pollution and improve management practices; protected Long Island’s drinking water aquifers; and helped transform a former Con Ed brownfield into a major regional paper recycling plant.

After leaving government, Paul served as Westchester Land Trust’s executive director from 2000 to 2008. He and his WLT colleagues helped create the Westchester Open Space Alliance, whose more than two-dozen grass-roots member organizations successfully lobbied for over $45 million in parkland and preserve funding. At the same time, WLT helped protect thousands of acres of sensitive land and successfully pushed for sounder, more sustainable development practices. In 2008, Contribute New York magazine named WLT its top-rated environmental charity in the metropolitan area, for fundraising efficiency, program focus and fiscal soundness.

Before joining Riverkeeper in July 2010, Paul served nearly two years as president of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. During this time, MCHT earned widespread approval for deepening its connection with local communities, supporting coastal entrepreneurs, adding new members and increasing access to its preserves.

Entries by Paul Gallay

The 'Careful, Thoughtful' Approach to Indian Point Is to Close It

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2016 | 12:31 PM

In 2007, when Hillary Clinton was New York's junior senator, she sagely observed that a "steady drumbeat of problems has eroded public confidence in Indian Point," the twin-reactor nuclear power plant just outside New York City.

In the time since Clinton left New York to become Secretary of State, Indian...

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This Is What Water Democracy Looks Like

(4) Comments | Posted February 20, 2015 | 12:14 PM

A quiet little sustainability experiment is showing astonishing results, here in New York's iconic Hudson River Valley. Communities are flexing their muscles and taking control of their drinking water supplies -- instead of just letting outside interests call the shots on how to manage local water resources.

Last week,...

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Why Andrew Cuomo Banned Fracking in New York

(10) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 4:02 PM

Ask environmentalists in New York whether they woke up on December 17 expecting Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to ban fracking by noon that day. They'll answer: "no way."

In fact, The Empire State's massive anti-fracking community spent that morning girding for battle, preparing to picket the governor's January 7 State...

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Fed Measures on Crude Oil Fall Short, Put Hudson River at Risk

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 2:13 PM

Last May, we wrote about how the Hudson River Valley has become a virtual pipeline for the transport of highly flammable Bakken crude oil in unsafe DOT-111 railcars--the same tankers whose derailment has caused numerous explosions across the U.S. and the death of 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Canada.


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GE: Don't Leave Before the Job Is Done

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2014 | 2:18 PM

One of America's largest, most expensive and most important river cleanups is at a crucial turning point, with the environmental and economic health of Hudson River communities -- from upstate factory towns to New York City -- hanging in the balance. In the next few months, the General Electric Corporation...

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Enviro Groups Call for an Emergency Order Ending Crude Oil Transport by Rail in Light of Lynchburg Disaster

(3) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 2:26 PM

On April 30 in Lynchburg, Va., yet another train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded, spilling oil into the James River, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes and causing the state capital of Richmond to switch drinking-water intakes to a backup supply. After so many incidents,...

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A "Broken Windows" Theory for Environmentalism

(10) Comments | Posted December 26, 2013 | 1:49 PM

Call it the broken windows theory applied to environmentalism.

This spring, Riverkeeper helped mobilize a crew of 80 to clean up trash at Inwood's North Cove, a reclaimed wetlands area on the Harlem River where wildlife now flourishes amid steel and cement.

The biggest cleanup of 72 on our second...

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New York's Fracking Process Is Broken

(27) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 3:03 PM

Will New York State officials approve fracking next month?
Not if they follow the facts or the science.

New York's four-year effort to assess the safety of the controversial gas drilling practice known as fracking is broken. To fix it, the...

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Look Close at Fracking and You'll Say "No Way"

(19) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 9:39 AM

The more you learn about fracking, the less you're going to like it.

Take the Nov. 30 debate, sponsored by The Campbell Public Affairs Institute of Syracuse University, at which Cornell University Professor Robert Howarth and I duked it out with frack supporters Tim...

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New York's Better Off Without Indian Point

(7) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 2:50 PM

As the clock ticks down toward Fall relicensing hearings for the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Northern Westchester, New Yorkers face a stark choice: are we going to be stuck for another 20 years with an aging nuclear plant sitting precariously on two active earthquake faults, which...

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Answering the "Call" on Clean Water

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 12:17 PM

Last Call at the Oasis, a fine new film on water issues by Oscar-winner Jessica Yu, has more than its share of "uh-oh" moments. Screening audiences gasp audibly as Las Vegas runs out of water, fracking chemicals turn Texas swimming pools a nasty green and frogs change sex...

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Gas Industry Spin Can't Cover Up Air, Water Problems Caused by Fracking

(104) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 4:21 PM


It's like some in the gas industry are living in a different universe from the rest of us, when it comes to the risks from shale gas extraction via fracking. Call it the "Spin Zone."

At a Wall Street...

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No Time for "Slacktivism," Here on the Hudson

(4) Comments | Posted March 19, 2012 | 5:02 PM

There's a lot of talk lately about the comfort-of-your-own-home brand of advocacy known as slacktivism, but grassroots environmentalists on the Hudson River aren't paying much attention to it. They're too busy doing cleanups, taking water quality samples and occupying government agencies until officials pony up the resources needed to...

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We Were the 99%

(6) Comments | Posted February 6, 2012 | 10:49 AM

These are not easy times for the green movement. In fact, according to the NY Times: "If there was a tougher moment over the last 40 years to be a leader in the American environmental movement, it would be hard to put your finger on it."


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Hydrofracking: A Bad Bet for the Environment -- and the Economy

(26) Comments | Posted January 5, 2012 | 2:42 PM

As New York considers new hydrofracking regulations that would allow companies to drill an estimated 48,000 gas wells across the rural countryside, many see the pitched battle over the state's fracking plan as a tug-of-war between the environment and the economy. In reality, both will suffer if the frackers get...

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