That number officially surpasses the 13,000 or so that were given on the DEC’s 2009 draft of its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, which when finalized will guide the permitting process for the much-debated technique of high-volume hydrofracking.
The enormous amount of comments on the latest draft — as well as a set of proposed regulations and a general permit for stormwater runoff from gas-drilling sites — isn’t surprising. The issue of hydrofracking has only grown both statewide and nationally since the 2009 draft was released, and four public hearings were well attended across the state.
The 15,000 comments includes those made at hearings, DeSantis said.
The DEC expects to finalize the report sometime in 2012, though it’s unclear if hydrofracking permits would immediately follow.
(Photo by Simon Wheeler / Ithaca Journal)