February 12, 2013

Hydrofracking regulations further delayed

I'm not sure this is the 'huge victory' against hydrofracking that some folks are calling it, but the Department of Health apparently isn't done with its review of health impacts, pushing the Department of Environmental Conservation to hold off on releasing its regulations and revised SGEIS.

There is, as Attorney Tom West said on WSKG today, a lot of "industry apathy" toward New York at the moment, thanks to delays, collapsed prices, and the greater appeal of "wet gas" further west. However, this delay doesn't sound like it will be forever:

The previously proposed high-volume hydraulic fracturing regulations cannot be finalized until the SGEIS is complete. However, this does not mean that the issuance of permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing would be delayed. If the DOH Public Health Review finds that the SGEIS has adequately addressed health concerns, and I adopt the SGEIS on that basis, DEC can accept and process high-volume hydraulic fracturing permit applications 10 days after issuance of the SGEIS. The regulations simply codify the program requirements.

If, on the other hand, the DOH review finds that there is a public health concern that has not been assessed in the SGEIS or properly mitigated, we would not proceed, as I have stated in the past.

In either event, the science, not emotion, will determine the outcome.

Reading Albany tea leaves is tricky.

Posted by simon at February 12, 2013 4:09 PM in
Note on photos