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State wants more comments on fracking rules

    FINGER LAKES—The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is once again accepting public comments on the hydraulic fracturing for Marcellus Shale regulations.
    Written comments will be accepted through Dec. 12 by electronic submission and through the mail. The state will also hold four public hearings, dates and locations yet to be announced.
    The DEC received more than 13,000 public comments on the Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) issued in September 2009. The newer draft SGEIS addresses permit conditions required for gas drilling in Marcellus Shale and other areas of the state.
    The draft statement can be viewed online.  Impacts to the local economy and community are discussed in the draft. The SGEIS proposes that the DEC, in consultation with local governments, may limit simultaneous development of well pads and wells in proximity to each other to lessen impacts to the “community character.” The state adds this approach would also help mitigate any noise impacts, visual impacts and impacts from increased truck traffic.
    When talking about the workers and jobs Marcellus Shale would bring to the area, the DEC said at the peak of activity, employment in jobs operating well pads and related work is expected to range from 1,790 total workers under the low-development scenario to 7,161 workers under the average development scenario.
    Specific measures to protect the state’s drinking water include prohibiting surface drilling:
    • Within 2,000 feet of public drinking water supplies.
    • On the state’s 18 primary aquifers and within 500 feet of their boundaries.
    • Within 500 feet of private wells, unless waived by landowner.
    • In flood plains.
    • On principal aquifers without site-specific reviews.
    • Within the Syracuse and New York City watersheds.




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