DEC Issues Revised EIS Concerning High-Volume Hydrologic Fracturing
On September 7, 2011, DEC issued a revised environmental impact statement (EIS) concerning high-volume hydraulic fracturing, more commonly referred to as "fracking."
The EIS includes new mitigation measures to protect communities and an estimate of the economic benefits resulting from the natural gas extraction method. In addition, it includes mitigation measures that address the cumulative impact of fracking on communities by limiting simultaneous development of well pads and wells in proximity to each other. The EIS stated that the use of hydraulic fracturing in New York could create nearly 54,000 jobs in the state and generate up to $125 million in annual income tax revenue. DEC has stated that it will issue draft regulations on fracking in October 2011 and hold four public hearings in November 2011. The public comment period on the EIS will be open until Dec. 12, 2011.
The revised document also contains mitigation measures to address concerns about traffic, noise, and visual impacts. An earlier EIS issued in June 2011 prohibited fracking in the New York City watershed, within 2,000 feet of public drinking water supplies, and within 500 feet of the state's 18 primary aquifers.