DEC: No Decision On Fracking Until Health Study Complete
The Department of Environmental Conservation issued a statement today casting the filing of the latest proposed regulations for high-volume hydrofracking as a necessary step in order to complete the health assessment being undertaken now by a panel of experts.
The DEC released its regulations Thursday evening with little in the way of explanation as to what was in the highly technical documents, leading to some complaints from lobbyists for and against the controversial natural gas extraction process.
The public comment period for the latest setting of regulations, which would likely change depending on the health assessment’s findings, begins Dec. 12.
The statement today stresses with equal weight that no decision is imminent and will be based on both the environmental impact statement and DOH Commissioner Nirav Shah’s review.
Here’s the full statement from DEC spokesmwoman Emily DeSantis:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation DEC has filed a Notice of Continuation with the Department of State to extend the rulemaking process by 90 days in order to give New York State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nirav Shah, time to complete his review of the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement. This extension is necessary, in part, because Commissioner Martens requested and Dr. Shah agreed to provide an additional review, in consultation with outside experts, of whether DEC has adequately addressed potential impacts to public health. This filing with the Department of State merely extends the rulemaking period to enable Dr. Shah to complete his review and DEC time to take into account the results of Dr. Shah’s review and continue to consider the potential impacts of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
In order to receive the needed extension, DEC was required by law to refile the draft regulations along with responses to public comments received during the public comment period, and preliminary revisions, responsive to those comments. The refiled rule does not reflect current DEC policy with respect to whether or not hydraulic fracturing can be done safely in New York. That determination will be based on the findings of the environmental impact statement and Dr. Shah’s public health review of that document.
DEC will not take any final action or make any decision regarding hydraulic fracturing until after Dr. Shah’s health review is completed and DEC, through the environmental impact statement, is satisfied that this activity can be done safely in New York State.
If DEC decides that hydraulic fracturing cannot be safely done in New York, these regulations will not have any practical effect and the process will not go forward. If DEC decides that the process can be done safely, these regulations would be adjusted in accordance with the health and safety requirements and issues addressed in the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm, and is filed under Hydrofracking. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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