Mixed reviews for DEC regs

Drilling proponents are pleased, critics are not

NEW YORK STATE — Environmentalists and the drilling industry alike agree that the new regulations proposed for the industry will add safeguards for the environment, but for critics the question remains: do the safeguards go far enough and are there sufficient resources available to enforce them.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released a massive 810-page document on September 30 that lays out the proposed regulations in what is called the draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement (SGEIS).

Among the new safeguards when the new rules take effect is that drillers will be required to reveal all of the chemicals used in fracking fluids. They will not be able to store flow-back water, also called produced water, in plastic-lined pits; instead, they will be required to use steel tanks. Also, the drillers will be obliged to test water from any private water wells within 1,000 feet of a gas well, and if there are no private wells that close, the distance expands to 2,000 feet.

People who would like to see gas drilling proceed were generally pleased.

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