NY DEC Releases Executive Summary Portion of New Drilling Regs

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation did not release the full 900+ page draft drilling regulations document yesterday (July 1) as planned. They supposedly did release it to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his review with the announcement that the full report would be made available to the public in one week, on July 8. However, the DEC did release a 27-page executive summary (embedded below). The executive summary is just that—a high level description of what is contained in the 900+ page document.

On page 5 of the Executive Summary we get this interesting statement:

The document is deemed “preliminary” because, as indicated below, it omits a number of areas of analysis that are still ongoing and will be finalized later in 2011 and incorporated into this draft. When the Department deems this draft Supplement complete, it will be published in full and a formal public comment period will be commenced.

A confusing statement at best. The DEC announced it would commence the official public comment period August 1 to run for 60 days. Does that mean the full draft SGEIS being released on July 8 will contain “holes” (pun intended) that will later be filled in? Does it mean that there will be a second public comment period after the first period, once the DEC has drafted up what will be the final final version that fills in those holes? What does “finalized later in 2011” mean? How much later? The language above is not clear. I expect we’ll find out in coming days what it means.