New York DEC Issues Draft Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations

Last week, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation released its draft regulations for hydraulic fracturing. These are based on the agency's revised draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement issued last month.

The proposed regulations include a prohibition on drilling on state-owned land such as wildlife management areas and game farms; a permitting requirement to refracture wells that have already been drilled; and specifications for well spacings. The comment period closes December 12th. 

It is understood from media reports that no permits for fracking will be issued until both the regulations and the draft supplemental EIS are made final, but this has not yet been confirmed through DEC publications.  A series of four public hearings throughout the state have been scheduled starting on November 16. The DEC will accept comments in both written and oral format at these hearings.