Earlier this week, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation(NYDEC) released a revised draft of its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement(SGEIS). Coinciding with the release of the draft and perhaps more importantly, the state released results from a socioeconomic study that indicate that hydraulic fracturing could create as many as 25,000 full time jobs worth up to $1.7 billion in wages for New Yorkers. If the results of the study are accurate it would be hard for the state to turn its back on the potential job creation that hydraulic fracturing would bring.
The draft SGEIS proposes mitigation measures in the form of restrictions for construction and truck traffic as part of the hydraulic fracturing process. DEC proposes that fracturing companies file plans that include a transportation plan, with details on the roads they plan to use and the conditions of those roads. A fact sheet summarizing the details can be found here.
There will now be a 90 day comment period on the revised draft SGEIS. The period begins today and will conclude on December 12th. DEC plans to hold 4 public hearings during the comment period with date and times still to be determined. In early October, DEC will issue proposed regulations governing high volume hydraulic fracturing. The comment period on those regulations and the revised SGEIS will overlap. No permits will be issued for high volume hydraulic fracturing until the SGEIS is finalized and the DEC issues its Findings Statement.
Comments can be submitted through the DEC website or by mail. If using mail, send them to:
Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, NY 12233