MDN Hits the Road for the NY DEC Hearings at Tribeca

clownThe last two circus shows public hearings sponsored by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on proposed changes to draft shale gas drilling regulations will be held on Wednesday (today) in New York City at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (Manhattan) from 1-4 pm and again from 6-9 pm. MDN editor Jim Willis is attending the 1 pm session (if he can get in!). A full report will follow on Thursday or Friday.

Meanwhile, a crowd of some 500 pro- and anti-drilling advocates showed up on Tuesday in Loch Sheldrake (Sullivan County), NY for the next to last pair of hearings. See today’s Story Links for early coverage from Loch Sheldrake.

The first two pairs of sessions were held in Dansville, NY and Binghamton, NY two weeks ago.

Where does New York go from here? Written comments can still be filed with the DEC until December 12 (see this page for details on how to provide a comment to the DEC). After that, who knows? Supposedly the DEC will review all of the comments, tweak things one final time, and release the new drilling regulations.

But Joe Martens has indefinitely delayed a report due by his own appointed Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel claiming other state departments need to give the Panel detailed budget requests. Until the Panel gets the budget forecasts, the Panel cannot create a final report and the new drilling regulations will not be issued. Seems pretty obvious Martens is delaying a release of the new drilling regulations, which by default keeps the drilling moratorium in place, as long as he can—at least until mid-2012. Maybe longer.

Tune back in later this week for an update from the NYC hearings. Should be interesting! Bring in the clowns…