Shocking, I know, but environmental and natural-gas industry groups are coming down on different sides of the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s proposed regulations for high-volume hydrofracking in New York.
A coalition of conservation groups — they call themselves the “New York Water Rangers” — said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, which includes the DEC, is “fast-tracking the state’s fracking plans” that “sidesteps New Yorkers’ concerns about industrial gas drilling.”
The groups have been critical of the DEC’s decision to move forward with the rule-making process before it completes its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, a document that assesses the impacts of hydrofracking and includes recommendations for issuing permits.
“By issuing regulations before the environmental review process is complete, DEC is depriving New Yorkers of the opportunity for their comments to be considered in the development of those draft regulations,” Kate Hudson, Riverkeeper’s Watershed Program Director said in a statement.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group based in Pennsylvania, said they will review the proposal to make sure the regulations reach the right balance between protecting the environment and allowing the industry to move forward.
The Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York, meanwhile, released its latest in a series of video messages on hydrofracking today.
“Clean-burning and abundant natural gas is providing economic, environmental, and energy security benefits throughout our region, and we will carefully review the proposal of the Department of Environmental Conservation, with the hope of bringing responsible shale gas production to New York,” Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said in a statement.
“While a de facto moratorium on job creation in the New York Marcellus has denied significant economic activity to the state, we must ensure that the eventual regulations aimed at replacing that temporary halt in activity are both workable and balanced enough to fulfill New York’s promise to be ‘open for business.’”