Today at 11 am, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens held a press conference to prepare the press and the public for the release of the draft SGEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement). This draft SGEIS is a requirement under the State’s SEQRA– the State Environmental Quality Review Act. The process itself is described in the DEC’s SEQRA Handbook. The DEC must prepare the document because of the SEQRA, and must do so in a process stipulated by law:
In New York State, most projects or activities proposed by a state agency or unit of local government, and all discretionary approvals (permits) from a NYS agency or unit of local government, require an environmental impact assessment as prescribed by 6 NYCRR Part 617 State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). [Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law Sections 3-0301(1)(b), 3-0301(2)(m) and 8-0113].
The press conference is available on video here: http://at.pscdn.net/008/00198/11/dec/0701/main.htm
The portion of the draft released today is over 700 pages. It can be downloaded at http://www.scribd.com/doc/59152281/Preliminary-Revised-Draft-SGEIS-7-1-11
An advisory panel had been named; below is press release on panel appointees (http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/75416.html)
DEC Commissioner Appoints Members to Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the members of the High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel that will be charged with:
- developing recommendations to ensure DEC and other agencies are enabled to properly oversee, monitor and enforce high-volume hydraulic fracturing activities;
- developing recommendations to avoid and mitigate impacts to local governments and communities; and
- evaluating the current fee structure and other revenue streams to fund government oversight and infrastructure related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing.
“I want to thank the panel members for agreeing to participate,” Martens said. “The guidance they will provide will be invaluable as we move forward with this process.”
The initial panel members will include:
- Stan Lundine, former NYS Lt. Governor
- Kathleen McGinty, Former Chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Clinton
- Eric A. Goldstein and Kate Sinding, Senior Attorneys, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Robert Hallman, Board Chair, NY League of Conservation Voters
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr., President of the Waterkeeper Alliance
- Robert Moore, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates
- Mark Brownstein, Chief Counsel, Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund
- Heather Briccetti, Acting President & CEO, Business Council of New York State, Inc.
- Robert B. Catell, Chairman, Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at SUNY Stony Brook
- Mark K. Boling, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Southwestern Energy
- Senator Tom Libous, Deputy Majority Leader
- Assemblymember Donna Lupardo