DEC Posts The Latest Fracking Regulations (Updated X4)
The Department of Environmental Conservation today released its latest set of proposed regulations for high-volume hydrofracking, a voluminous set of records that the public can comment on starting Dec. 12.
Today was the deadline for the DEC to finalize the regulations, a process that last moved forward in August 2011 when the initial regulations were released. Instead, the agency filed for a 90-day extension of the rule-making process as the state works to complete a health-impact study of the controversial natural gas extraction process.
Obviously, these documents are going to take some time to go through and analyze. No comments are expected this evening from Independent Oil and Gas Association, the industry group that has pushed for hydrofracking. Environmental groups, too, are yet to weight in on the new proposed regulations.
Updated: The DEC said yesterday after extending the public comment period that no final action will be taken on determining whether to move forward with the process until after DOH Commissioner Niravh Shah’s health review is completed.
“DEC will not take any final action until after Dr. Shah’s health review is completed. Today’s action merely extends the rule making period to enable DEC to take into account Dr. Shah’s review.
Update X2: Katherine Nadeau of the Environmental Advocates of New York released a statement critizing the release before the health impact has been finished (a state official points out that the regulations had to be filed in order to continue the health review).
“Issuing revised regulations before the science or health studies are in is a reversal by the Governor, who once pledged to let the science drive decision-making on fracking. We’re calling on the Governor to put the public over the gas industry’s profits—let the health and environmental reviews proceed without artificial deadlines, and let the science guide the process.”
Updated X3: Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto, doing some #tweetflacking this evening, says the regulations were made public at 3 this afternoon, not late this evening when most of the press, industry and environmental community appeared to catch wind and that the step today was outlined by the DEC yesterday.
Updated X4: Karen Moreau, Executive Director of the American Petroleum Institute, just sent over this statement in response to the news.
“Today’s release of revised regulations by DEC regarding hydraulic fracturing is another positive step forward toward the economic renewal that the Southern Tier has needed for far too long,” Moreau said.
“In it’s filing today, DEC conservatively estimates that safe natural gas development will create nearly 25,000 new jobs in the Marcellus Shale, a figure that no other industry can realistically match in this part of Upstate New York. The jobs and revenues hydraulic fracturing will generate will allow our young people to build a future where they grew up, save family farms from crushing property taxes and lift entire communities.”
“While we are still reviewing the details of today’s filing, at first blush it is clear that we can create good jobs right here at home and protect water, land and public health using these regulations to guide safe natural gas development. It’s time to move forward and finally realize the prosperous future awaiting us.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 29, 2012 at 6:46 pm, and is filed under Hydrofracking. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|