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Source: WNED Buffalo

Public Awaits DEC July 8th Release of Fracking Report


Posted: July 11, 2011
Originally Published: July 5, 2011

BUFFALO (WNED) - The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has been studying hydrofracking for close to four years. The latest draft will hit the streets on July 8th.

A press release summarizing the document has indicated the DEC will recommend to permit the controversial natural gas drilling technique on private lands. There are some exceptions: no drilling around New York City and Syracuse's aquifers or within 500 feet of others. That still puts around 85 percent of the state's eligible Marcellus Shale-rich areas in play.

Still, western New York is expected to see little activity on this front. Brian Smith with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment says Buffalo's pre-emptive ban of fracking has the legal teeth to keep any projects out of city limits.

"Local governments in this state should have the authority to protect their communities," Smith says.

But Smith says it's still unclear how to state will dispose of liquid waste from the fracking process. A 60-day public comment period begins in August, giving New Yorkers the next few weeks to digest the report's 1000 or so pages.

The DEC then has to issue a final report and begin to process drilling permits, which could happen sometime in 2012.