The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC ) has issued proposed rules that would prohibit hydraulic fracturing within 500 feet of the state’s primary aquifers and within 4,000 feet of an unfiltered surface water supply watershed. Codifying terms set forth in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS ) issued by the agency in early September 2011, the proposed rules would also require disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.

Under the plan, natural gas companies would be required to develop comprehensive storm water pollution prevention plans and plans for the use and testing of blowout preventers. The proposed rules would also provide detailed requirements for well construction, site preparation and the operation and maintenance of fracking wells. They would further require that all flow-back water and production brine be tested, recycled or properly disposed of. Comments are requested by December 12, 2011, and public hearings are scheduled at several locations in November.