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Friday, September 30, 2011

DEC Issues Proposed Fracking Regulations

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued proposed regulations Wednesday to regulate the natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking. A draft 1,537-page environmental impact statement on hydrofracking, issued last month, is still undergoing a public comment period. Public comment on both the draft rules and the impact statement expire Dec. 12, which could then allow DEC to make both documents final. That could allow drilling permits to be issued.

Hydrofracking relies on an high-pressure blend of chemicals, water and sand into deep underground rock formations to release trapped bubbles of natural gas. Opponents are concerned drilling could damage air and water quality, while the industry asserts the practice is safe.

Public hearings for the proposed regulations and impact statement are set for Nov. 16 at Dansville Middle School Auditorium, 31 Clara Barton St., Dansville; Nov. 17 at The Forum Theatre, 236 Washington St., Binghamton; Nov. 29 at Sullivan County Community College, Seelig Theatre, 112 College Road, Loch Sheldrake; and Nov. 30 at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St., New York City. All hearings are from 1 to 4 p.m, and from 6 to 9 p.m. (TimesUnion, 9/29/2011)

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