DONNA A. LUPARDOMember of Assembly123
THE ASSEMBLYSTATE OF NEW YORK ALBANY
CHAIRLegislative Commission onScience and TechnologyCOMMITTEESEconomic Development, Job Creation,Commerce and IndustryElection LawEnvironmental ConservationHigher EducationTransportationVeterans’ Affairs
January 11, 2013Attn: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments New York State Department of Environmental Conservation625 BroadwayAlbany, NY 12233I am writing in my capacity as a member of both the NYS Assembly Committee on EnvironmentalConservation and Governor Cuomo’s High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel. Pleaseconsider this letter as my formal comment in response to the DEC’s proposed regulations for high-volumehydraulic fracturing.One issue that I have raised repeatedly is the failure of the rdSGEIS to properly address the potentialnegative economic impacts that drilling may have on communities. Although I have been assured that potential negative impacts will be studied and considered before moving forward with this activity, the proposed regulations make numerous references to the flawed economic study contained within therdSGEIS. Any set of regulations adopted by the DEC should address the added costs to state and localgovernments, which will be significant. As you know, I remain deeply concerned about urban impactsgiven the nature of my Assembly district.In addition to the economic issues, there are a number of other concerns I have with the proposedregulations that I would like to see addressed. Those concerns are as follows:
1)Current regulations place caps ($25,000/well; $2 million for all wells in NYS) onthe bonds an owner of a deep well must post to cover plugging and abandoningcosts. The proposed rules would have repealed those caps, but the revised rules(at §551.6) would re-establish the potential for a cap in an amount determined byDEC. Nothing in the revised rules provides any assurance that DEC will set thosecaps in amounts that are sufficient to ensure that resources are available to properly close all of the affected wells.2)Permits required for flaring of wells (burning off gas) and re-fracturing operationshave been dropped in the revised rules. Instead, a driller would only be required(in §556.2) to ask DEC for approval, without any public notice or involvement.
A requirement (which appeared in proposed §750-3.4(b)(1)) that a permitapplicant must certify that it has arranged for waste fluid disposal at a facility withavailable capacity (along with a backup plan) is removed. DEC would now provide that the facility must use the backup facility if it would be “unsafe or impractical” to use the primary disposal option. This increases the likelihood that
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