NY DEC and EPA Emails – Interesting, Not Earth Shattering

Over the weekend, the Gannett News Service ran a story in several of its newspapers and TV stations in New York State detailing the contents of emails that have flown back and forth between the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the topic of hydraulic fracturing in New York over the past four years. A copy of the emails is embedded below.

There’s really nothing earth shatteringly new in the emails. Some interesting tidbits perhaps, but all of it now ancient history and not worth being hot and bothered about.

Among the so-called revelations in the emails:

  • DEC Commissioner Joe Martens had a minor tiff with EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck (Region 2) telling her he felt the EPA was treating New York differently than other states with respect to fracking.
  • At one point in 2011, the EPA planned to do pre-drilling tests of private water wells in the Marcellus region of the state—a program that never got off the ground.
  • The EPA wanted estimates on the numbers of permits that New York would issue once drilling began. DEC Mineral Resources Director Bradley Field said eventually he though 2,000 wells per year would be possible, but with the current depleted staffing levels, only 75-100 per year would be possible (until more hires come on board).
  • Early on, in 2008, the EPA wanted to insert itself in the regulating process in New York by forming a joint oversight board for fracking in the New York City watershed between the EPA, DEC and several other agencies. That suggestion later became a moot point when the SGEIS prohibited fracking anywhere in the NYC watershed area.

Click on the link below to read the entire mildly interesting, mostly yesterday’s news contained in the emails.

*Buffalo (NY) WGRZ-Channel 2 (Jun 10, 2012) – DEC, EPA Offer Hydrofracking Clues In Emails