The DEC has announced draft regulations and posted them. The hearings for the rulemaking process– which requires a public hearing– are being overlaid on the hearings for the SEQRA process, which also requires a hearing. As in, they are saving money on public hearings. Just like they are saving trees by only printing one copy of the SGEIS per county. Or, they are doing their best to limit and control the access that the public has to the process that we don’t have much effect.
It is unusual to proceed this way, and many observers see it as a clear sign of “fast-tracking.”
The Marcellus Effect story on this is so excellent and clear, I would recommend reading the whole thing. I sample a large chunk of it below, with thanks:
The draft regulations are supposed to create a legal framework for implementing the proposed mitigation measures published in the revised dSGEIS. The public comment period on the draft regulations begins today and runs concurrently with the public comment period on the dSGEIS, which ends Dec. 12.In addition for the drilling rules, DEC also released the proposed State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (GP) for Stormwater Discharges associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing.Four Hearings:Each public hearing will have an afternoon from 1 – 4 pm and an evening session from 6-9 pm. Comments will be accepted in written and oral format at the hearings.Here’s where the hearings will be:
- Nov. 16: Dansville Middle School Auditorium, 31 Clara Barton St., Dansville, NY 14437
- Nov. 17: The Forum Theatre, 236 Washington Street, Binghamton, NY, 13901
- Nov. 29: Sullivan County Community College, Seelig Theatre, 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
- Nov. 30: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY, 10007Once the comment period is complete, DEC will review the comments and prepare responses to be released with the final SGEIS and final regulations. No permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be issued until the SGEIS is finalized and DEC issues the required Findings Statement.How to submit comments:Via the Web at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.htmlBy mail to Attn: dSGEIS Comments; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; 625 Broadway; Albany, NY 12233-6510For More Info:On the dSGEIS: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html;On the proposed State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (GP) for Stormwater Discharges along with its fact sheet: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/77251.html;On the proposed regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/77353.html