January 4, 2013 Attn: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 625 Broadway

Albany, NY 12233-6510

Dear Commissioner Martens,

I submit the following comments on the draft HVHF regulations, but first I must protest the process by which these draft regulations have been released for final public comment before the revised SGEIS is finalized, as required by law to inform the drafting of regulations, and without a credible health impact study. The DEC has also placed undue burden on citizens, organizations, and municipalities to prepare comments on highly technical regulations with a minimal 30 days over the holidays, thereby squelching meaningful public participation. Due to the inherent risks to health, the environment, economies, and community character, hydrofracking should not be permitted in New York anytime in the foreseeable future. Notwithstanding the above, I submit the following comments relating to one of several serious problems with the draft regulations, specifically the failure to address seismic faults.

The draft regulations completely ignore the potential for natural faults existing in gas-bearing formations to act as conduits for the migration of fracking fluids and methane to drinking water aquifers, the surface, and atmosphere. This deficiency is reflected in the 2011 revised draft SGEIS, which included an antiquated map (figure 4.13) depicting only limited geological faulting through the likely Marcellus and Utica shale drilling areas. Compiled in 1977, this map obscures critical information. Later maps by other authors (e.g., R. G. Jacobi, 2002) show many more faults throughout New York State. Although the 2011 revised draft SGEIS appeared to acknowledge the potential for abandoned gas wells to transmit methane and chemicals, geological faults can provide even larger channels to the surface, so the DEC's ignoring of this issue defies understanding. • An additional section should be added to the draft regulations to address faults. At a minimum, regulations should require that the applicant definitely demonstrate by a certified professional using seismic testing and best available data that no faults exist beneath the proposed spacing unit or up to one-half mile outside of the spacing unit. If a fault is determined to exist beneath the spacing unit or up to one-half mile outside of the spacing unit, the applicant should be required to reconfigure the spacing unit to avoid the fault by a margin of at least one-half mile, or maintain a lateral setback between the wellbore and fault of least onehalf mile.

The 2011 revised draft SGEIS also attempts to downplay the potential for induced seismic activity by citing historic data for when there was no high-volume horizontal hydrofracking in the state. Recently there have been reports of earthquakes in Oklahoma, Ohio, and in the United Kingdom linked directly to hydrofracking activity, both in location and time. The DEC needs to investigate these incidents and determine the

probability of similar occurrences in New York if high-volume hydrofracturing were to proceed. Until this has occurred and additional regulatory measures are enacted to avoid induced seismic activity, high-volume hydrofracking should not be permitted. Sincerely,

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