NY Draft Marcellus Drilling Regulations Won’t Be Ready by July 1st Deadline

Gomer PyleIn the unforgettable words of Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Actually, this one was not so hard to predict. The New York State Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Joe Martens, is signaling that the new draft regulations for Marcellus Shale drilling won’t be ready by Gov. Cuomo’s deadline of this Friday, July 1.

The state’s latest draft of its ongoing review of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas might not be completed by Friday’s deadline, New York’s top environmental regulator said Monday.

The Department of Environmental Conservation had been ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to finish a revised draft of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, as it’s called, by July 1. But while speaking with reporters after a meeting of Cuomo’s cabinet, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said his office might not be finished by then.

"We’re still working on it, so stay tuned," Martens said. "We’ll tell you later in the week whether we’re going to make the deadline or not."

Martens left open the possibility of releasing a portion of the draft report on Friday. He said the DEC has been working "full time" on the review, which didn’t have a firm deadline placed on it until Cuomo’s office issued a directive last month.

"We’ll see again what we get out Friday versus days after Friday," Martens said. "We’re in the production process right now."*

*Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 28, 2011) – DEC might not meet Friday deadline for fracking review

  • Eh. The gas companies are just sitting with their drills ready on Saturday midnight. I hope the governor’s office pulls through. I’d rather not drink poisoned water.

  • Ugh – the hyperbole surrounding this issue is out of control and really disappointing to see.
    First, I don’t think people have an understanding how much time and effort go in to getting a well ready and actually executing it.  There is a reason a big complaint is how long it takes for companies to put a well on landowners property and actually start flowing gas.  It’s a stretch to think that, even if the DEP states a drilling favorable conclusion, with appeals/protests/what have you on top of the usual process of data collection/interpretation, leasing, permitting, construction, drilling, etc. anyone will be operating even a year from now.
    Second – poisoned water??  Come on now, this is exactly what is wrong – there is no discourse, no discussion.  Can we lay off the “company X killed my dog” and “my kids will have to move to Mexico to find clean water”?
    What is contaminating your water?  Frac fluid?  Only from surface spills.  A problem, yes, but very localized and very rare.  Seek out the guilty operators and rail on them.
    Stray gas?  Definitely an issue, but not from a water quality standpoint.  Once it’s identified, steps can be taken to remediate.  Still safe to drink though.
    If you have concerns, engage in discussion.  We as a holistic community need to resolve issues, not stick our fingers in our ears and plaster the opposing side with cries of foul.  This is true on BOTH sides of the issue, to be sure.

  • Excellent comment Area Man. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave your thoughts. I share your viewpoint.