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August 01, 2014
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DEC Begins 90-Day Public Comment Period on Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Study


ALBANY, NY — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation opened a more than 90-day public comment period on its revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. In addition, the agency will issue its proposed regulations governing high-volume hydraulic fracturing in early October.

"Throughout this process, DEC's number one priority is to protect the state's drinking water and environment in concert with exploring options to safely and efficiently extract the state's natural gas. This will enable New York's economy to benefit from this resource and the job opportunities that development is expected to bring," Martens said. "We look forward to receiving comments from the public that will help inform the final conditions for high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York state. The proposed environmental mitigation measures and the regulations that codify those measures go hand in hand. It makes sense to move forward with them together and hold simultaneous public comment periods and hearings."

The public comment period for the revised draft SGEIS begins today and concludes Dec. 12. The public comment period for the regulations will begin in early October and will run concurrently with the SGEIS public comment period. DEC plans to hold four public hearings during the comment period for the SGEIS and regulations in November. The hearings will be held in counties within the Marcellus Shale region, as well as New York City. Exact dates and locations will be released in early October.

Under the public comment schedule, the public will have more than 150 days to review the proposed environmental mitigation measures in the draft SGEIS, which were released July 1, and more than 90 days to review the SGEIS sections and mitigation measures addressing socioeconomic, community character, visual, noise and transportation impacts. Once the comment period is complete, DEC will review the comments on the draft SGEIS and proposed regulations and prepare responses to be released with the final SGEIS. No permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be issued until the SGEIS is finalized and DEC issues the required Findings Statement.

Comments can be submitted by Web at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html or by mail to:

Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

Comments should focus on changes in the 2011 revised draft SGEIS. Comments previously submitted on the 2009 draft will be considered in the final SGEIS and do not need to be resubmitted.

The draft socio-economic analysis of the impacts associated with high-volume hydraulic fracturing activities found that when the well construction rate is at its maximum level, total direct employment could reach 6,198 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers under a low-development scenario and 24,795 FTE workers under the average-development scenario. These jobs are estimated to bring $419.6 million to $1.7 billion in earnings for the workers.

Construction jobs account for 4,408 to 17,634 FTE positions. These employment figures correspond to the annual construction of 413 horizontal and vertical wells under the low-development scenario and 1,652 horizontal and vertical wells under the average-development scenario. At the peak of development, operational jobs are expected to range from 1,790 FTE workers under the low-development scenario to 7,161 FTE workers under the average-development scenario.

The proposed drilling also could generate additional indirect employment in other sectors of the economy. Indirect employment is expected to range from 7,293 FTE workers under the low-development scenario to an additional 29,174 FTE workers under the average-development scenario with an additional $202.3 million and $809.2 million in earnings.

The revised draft SGEIS proposes new mitigation measures to address impacts to communities and local governments. A significant mitigation measure is to limit simultaneous construction of well pads and wells in proximity to each other. DEC will consider this measure in consultation with local governments to lessen cumulative impacts. This approach would help mitigate impacts on local community character, as well as cumulative noise, visual and traffic impacts.

Additional proposed mitigation measures include:

Traffic: require drillers to produce detailed transportation plans outlining the proposed number of trucks, truck routes and times of day of truck operations, and assessing the conditions of those roads;
Noise: site-specific measures could include setbacks, site layout design that takes advantage of topography, noise barriers and special permit conditions; and
Visual: site-specific measures could include screening, relocation, camouflage or disguise, using non-reflective materials and controlling off-site migration of lighting.

To learn more about the revised draft SGEIS's proposed mitigation measures, visit:

The full draft SGEIS: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html
Fact Sheet on Socio-economic Impacts: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76878.html
Fact Sheet on Traffic, Cumulative, Visual & Noise: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76873.html.

Updated 09/07/2011 at 11:39 AM EDT

Out, out, damn obstructionist!

No obstructionist born of hippie may harm me! Oh how MacBeth is my favorite Shakespeare play.

what the pro-gasser comment fails to recognize is

1. how many of these would actually be jobs taken by local people, and how many would be filled by company or contractor manpower shipped in from elsewhere or hired in Texas or wherever and sent here?

2. how many of these jobs would be skilled vs. unskilled labor/service jobs?

3. if the "best case" (for employment) numbers held true, which is highly doubtful, we'll all be living in NJ soon with the influx of people to fill these positions (potentially several THOUSAND new people flowing into EACH Marcellus shale county) and looking to have housing, services, emergency response, etc.

4. how will all of the migrant workers and people shipped in from elsewhere be housed and entertained?

5. If the labor force brought in from elsewhere pays their taxes there and not here, who's taxes will pay for the services and infrastructure they demand?

6. If the workers are from elsewhere, they likely won't bring their kids. If they do settle here and bring their families, their kids will demand more school facilities and more teachers. Who will pay for these? And when scholl attendance plummets radically 10-30 years down the line, who will pay the unemployment for the teachers and what will be done with the empty new school additions and buildings our taxes dollars were spent on to accomodate these transplants?

7. what would happen in 20-30 years when the bonanza ends and in addition to having no more jobs than we do now, we have more poulation, less land available for agriculture or foresty or other industries, and a befouled, scarred, industrialized landscape and imbalanced ecosystem that no longer supports any tourism, hunting, fishing, etc.? Shouldn't we have learned something the first time around(i.e, the collapse of the resort industry and the resulting unemployment, underemployment (all of which is a fancy way of saying overpopulation for the available jobs) and excess of infrastructure? And that all WITH good agricultural land and a still-significant trade in tourism, hunting, fishing, etc. to keep the bottom from wholly dropping out (would you rather be under-employed or unemployed?)?

Don't buy into the jobs propaganda some like to spout. As the saying goes, "fools rush in". Sullivan COunty, Detroit, the ghost towns of the west, Enron, etc. should be more than enough history to prevent us from repeating it if we take our blinders off. Selling our souls down the river for a couple years' fossil fuel supply has no hope of any ultimate outcome better than greed and folly.

That may not be to say that nobody should ever drill anywhere, but rather that destroying our quality of life, long-term economy, and the health of our ecosystem so that the few can get rich off the backs of the majority (in persuit of a wholly insignificant contribution to our furture energy reserves)and then leave with their wealth while everyone else flounders, is obviously absurd to any objective observer.

You can do the math, Obie.

You have 90 days to get creative and prove that no one will get a job and no one will benefit from gas drilling. Perhaps you can conspire with the creator of the now famous Voodoo Math to achieve the numbers you desire. It matters not. Say what you will. Compute figures as you will. Whine as you will. The 90 days will end and drilling will take its next step. Have you followed the Republican debates? These characters are climbing over each other to claim they would drill more than anyone else. Obama pulled in the EPA (Employment Prevention Agency) on the smog issue. Even Voodoo Math will not convince the American public that we need to remain dependent on foreign energy, or even that drilling is not worth whatever risk it may create. The people are starving and you obstructionists want them to eat cake. The message you and your buddies send every time you fill your tank and turn on your lights is the one Exxon hears and it is fast becoming the message our representatives hear. Sure Hinchey is almost deaf, but he is on the fast track to retirement. In conclusion, yell, scream, post numbers, threaten to move to Switzerland, whatever you want. Your energy dependence will remain the cry government and business will hear. Lots of luck!

and yet again

you are too gullible, greedy, and/or weak-minded to realize that any of this has ANYTHING to do with energy independence.

This will hardly make a dent in our long term supply of fossil fuel or our independence from foreign fuel supplies. At the same time, it will make us and our children the slaves of Exxon-Mobil, Cabot, and Chesaeake- and our lifestyle will be the collateral.

Somebody must've talked to Natural once about how a gas lease could make him rich, and so he threw his brain out the window on the side of the road and has bought their spiel hook line and sinker ever since, lapping up every last drop of horse manure they feed him in his quest to become their latest rural welfare queen.

Some of us are still proud Americans with the cajones to stand up to bullies and not let corporate america dictate our lives to us. Others are weaklings willing to screw their neighbor and sacrifice their dignity on the altar of an easy dollar.

The people will not have an outspoken minority and the cash-hungry CEOs dictate their quality of life, their livelihood, or the utilization of their resources. You and your kind would long since be dead in the water were it not for the pressures of the currently weak economy.

Everybody could use more money, except the people who already have no shortage of it and who at the same time have the most to gain and least to lose from gas drilling. Ironic, huh?

Yes, Obie, you are strong and brave.

You are smart and still have your big cajones. Still using gasoline and electricity? Perhaps you, all of us, are already slaves to Exxon? Those that disagree with you are gullible and greedy. You want only to help others and do not work for money and refuse raises and never encourage the use of energy. You are a marvelous human and we all must admit it and bow to your incredible humanity. We are fortunate to read the thoughts of such a saintly person. TheNatural is unworthy of the dirt off your shoes, and knows it. TheNatural also knows that all of your whining and complaining will change nothing. Drilling is coming and the comments of the next 90 days mean little. So, Lay on, Macduff,
And damned be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!" TheNatural, in all humility, can suffer the slings and arrows.

New jobs in bad economic times?

This story seems to contradict the manifesto produced by Ms. Barth for the River Keeper/Mountain Keeper. It would now seem likely that these "keepers" will mass produce all sorts of mailings and electronic mailings to create a loud whine against this fracking. Once that noise is over, fracking will begin and obstructionists will be quaking in their boots, but enjoying economic revival and warm homes and ample food. They will benefit from this while pointing at any accidents and decrying fracking. In essence, they will have their cake and be able to eat it as well.