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Worst Fracking Regs

Worst Fracking Regs

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New York has the worst fracking regulations in the US.

New York has the worst fracking regulations in the US.

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Published by: James "Chip" Northrup on Nov 13, 2011
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09/17/2013

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Worst Fracking Regulations in the United States
New York has the worst regulations for oil and gas in the UnitedStates. This is self-evident to anyone that is familiar with regulationsin other states.
The worst gas well setbacks in the nation
The setback of a gas well from a land use is a good measure of regulations. The greater the setback, the more protection for the builtenvironment. The DEC’s shale gas well setbacks are worse than anyother state or municipal ordinance, as indicated in the following table:
DEC State and Local Ordinances
House 100 feet Texas 1,000
1
MD.1,000ND.1,640Alberta 350 - 5,280Wyoming 350N.M. 1,000
2
Pa.500
3
School 150Texas 1,000Well 500 N.M. 750
4
Texas 1,500
5
Stream 150N.M. 1,000Pond 0N.M. 750Historical site 0 N.M. 750Park 0 Utah 5,280
1
 
State setback of 200 feet is overridden by town ordinances which vary from 600feet in Fort Worth, 800 feet in Lewisville, to 1,320 feet in Midland. The towns of Flower Mound and Southlake are typical at 1000 feet.
2
 
Santa Fe County and Valencia County. Arriba County is 650 feet.
3
 
State setback
4
Santa Fe County
5
Town of Flower Mound
1
 
Seismic Testing - shot hole distance from buildings, etc.
New York has
no
setbacks for seismic testing, except on state land.Meaning a seismic crew can shoot a shot hole with dynamiteanywhere in the state, including next to a daycare center. Needless tosay, this is not the case in other states:Montana – 1,320 feet from any building, water well or springNorth Dakota – 600 feet from buildings, water wells, springsWyoming - 1,320 from building or water wellMaryland – 500 feet from a buildingOklahoma – 200 feet from a water wellArkansas – 200 feet from a residenceLouisiana – 1,000 feet from a boat
Boats
in Louisiana have more protection from seismic testingthan do residents of New York.
Why are New York’s setbacks either minimal or non-existent ?
Because they are merely place-holders for local regulations.
TheDEC has consistently deferred to local land use ordinances, so, in theabsence of such ordinances, the DEC only has
token
safeguards for surface uses – in the expectation of local ordinances to address theappropriate setbacks.
6
In the absence of such local ordinances, NewYorkers are left with literally the worst protections in the United Statesfrom the encroachment of shale gas industrialization.These token setbacks can apply to every building, pond or stream inUpstate. The lesser setback controls – for instance, if a gas well issituated next to a house, and the house’s water well is 400 feet onthe opposite side of the house from the gas well, then the 100 footsetback from the house controls. The home owner can be
compelled 
6
2
 
to participate in the gas well
since New York has the worst compulsory integration laws in the United States
.
7
The DEC can setthe well spacing at anything it wants – less than 40 acres. So anyfracker that has 24 or more acres can compel the neighboring housesinto the well. Then drill 100 feet from their door. This would, of course, put their mortgage into default.
8
Yet the DEC continues to tellpeople that their setbacks are based on “science”.
9
What is the“science” of a setback of 100 feet from a house that would make thehouse uninhabitable ?
Of 150 feet from a daycare center ? Of nothing from a private lake or pond ? There is no “science” involved.No hydrology, no chemistry, no topography, no geology – onlypolitical science.
This leaves New York municipalities no alternativebut to zone shale gas wells out of all or portions of their corporatelimits.
That is the appropriate response.
“Worst Practices” at the DEC
The DEC talks about industry’s “best practices” as if they weretantamount to regulations, which they are not, or a panacea, whichthey are not. When the DEC’s regulatory practices were audited in1994, they flunked.
Part of the problem is that the department thatoversees gas drilling has never been adequately staffed. The DEChas never had adequate regulations. The DEC has very fewregulations for gas wells. They have avoided making their genericguidelines, the GEIS, into a set of rules and regulations – since theywould then have to abide by and enforce those regulations.
The worst state tax on shale gas production
New York has one of the worst tax regimes on gas production in thecountry
because it has no state tax on gas production
, one of onlytwo states in the United States where shale gas production is state
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This is great information and analysis, but why must you put it on scribd.com so that we have to pay for it?
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