November 30, 2012

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New state fracking regs proposed by DEC

ALBANY – The State Department of Environmental Conservation, under the governor’s direction, has proposed a new set of fracking regulations by filing a notice and rule-making package with the State Secretary of State.

Environmental organization Riverkeeper said the move “wholly undercuts the governor’s promise to let the science guide his decisions.”

“What needs to be made clear is what DEC did [Wednesday] was to file a completely revised set of fracking regulations without the benefit of vital health and environmental impact information,” said Riverkeeper Watershed Program Director Kate Hudson.

The new regs will be open for public comment for one month, from December 12 to January 11. “Neither the health nor environmental study will be completed before public comment on the revised regulations closes. This is not a request for an extension; this is the fracking regulation train leaving the station.”

The new regulations, which are posted on the DEC website without a posting date, notes that the Marcellus and Utica shale formations would be impacted, in particular in this area in the counties of Greene, Ulster and Sullivan.

Hudson said the state Department of Health, at DEC’s request, hired outside experts to review the DEC assessment of the health impacts of fracking. “Releasing revised draft regulations before these experts have been allowed to conduct their health review completely undercuts the role of the state’s own experts and calls into question whether this ‘outside review’ is anything more than a paper exercise – one that the state cannot be bothered to finish before moving forward with its own plan.”


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