New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Issues Revised Hydrofracking Regulations
On November 29, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released revised proposed regulations that would govern high volume hydraulic fracturing – “hydrofracking” – in the state of New York, together with the agency’s assessment of and response to the nearly 66,000 public comments received to date.
The agency was compelled to release the revised regulations in order to obtain a 90-day extension of the deadline by which the regulations must be finalized (now expected in or about March 2013). The public comment period on the revised regulations will commence on December 12, 2012, and expire at 5:00 p.m. on January 11, 2013. Note, however, that the NYSDEC has stated that it will not issue hydrofracking permits until the New York State Department of Health completes a separate study of the potential health impacts of the process. Recently, the Department of Health selected John Adgate of the Colorado School of Public Health, Lynn Goldman of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Human Services, and Richard Jackson of the UCLA School of Public Health to assist with the health study. New York State’s review of large-scale hydrofracking has been ongoing since 2008.