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January 11, 2013New York State Department of Environmental Conservation625 BroadwayAlbany, NY 12233-6510Subject: Draft HVHF Regulations CommentsDear Sir/Madam:Enclosed please find comments from the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA NewYork) relative to the Revised Proposed Regulations proposing amendments to 6 NYCRR Parts 52 and 190,Parts 550 through 556 and 560, and parts 750.1 and 750.3. Thank you for the opportunity to provide thesecomments.In reviewing these comments, you will find that IOGA New York has been forced to take a moreadversarial position with these proposals. Notwithstanding our excellent working relationship over theyears and all the efforts that have been made by industry to educate Department personnel regardingmodern natural gas drilling techniques and best management practices to minimize potential adverseenvironmental impacts, it appears that most of our comments on the previous proposals have not beengiven any credibility and that the Department has erroneously come to the conclusion that the shaleresources in New York State will only be developed by large operators. This is truly unfortunate. Becauseof the failure of the Department to consider our comments that were submitted on January 11, 2012, we areresubmitting those comments. In addition, we are enclosing detailed comments on the Revised ProposedRegulations, together with suggested revisions to certain sections of the Revised Proposed Regulations thatwill ameliorate the adverse consequences of these proposals, without compromising environmental quality.Finally, we are also submitting additional letters from companies that qualify as small businesses under theState Administrative Procedure Act (“SAPA”) to reinforce the need for the Department to provideflexibility with these regulatory proposals and to meet the requirements of SAPA to reduce burdens onsmall businesses.As you are well aware, IOGA New York supports a high environmental bar, but the bar must be attainableby industry in order to have the valuable shale resources in this state properly developed. These regulationsare replete with requirements that have no foundation in science or in the long history of modern drilling inNew York State without adverse environmental consequences. In addition, in a number of instances, theDepartment has exceeded its regulatory authority, again with no scientific or historical basis for theoffensive proposals. For example, one of the most glaring issues is the proposal by the Department torequire a 300-foot setback from wetlands regulated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. As youare well aware, the jurisdiction of the Department over wetlands is limited by Environmental ConservationLaw Article 24, wherein the Legislature made the determination that only a 100-foot buffer zone is requiredfrom state jurisdictional wetlands. By attempting to regulate federal wetlands and also to implement abuffer requirement that is three times the statutory buffer for state wetlands, the Department has proposed arequirement that is not only illegal, but, in conjunction with the many other proposed setbacks andprohibitions, will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to site a well pad in New York State.