Thu January 24, 2013

Cuomo's budget cuts DEC funding by $53 million

Marie Cusick WMHT

UPDATE: According to Department of Environmental Conservation spokesperson Emily DeSantis, the DEC's operations budget would remain flat, the cuts would be to the part of the budget that pays for capital works projects, things like coastal erosion prevention and flood mitigation, that are contracted out by the department.

The budget cut amounts to a 5.5% reduction in the department's funding. According to the governor's new budget website, that doesn't mean a loss in staffing to the agency.

But it does raise questions about the future of fracking in New York.

During an interview last week with public radio’s Susan Arbetter, Cuomo said money for additional staff at the DEC, before fracking is approved, isn’t necessary.

Read more


Wed January 9, 2013

NY State Assembly holding last-minute public hearing on fracking

Karen DeWitt/WXXI

The New York State Assembly is holding a public hearing on Thursday morning in Albany to take public comment on the proposed regulations for fracking in the state.

The hearing will be held at the Hamilton Hearing Room B Legislative Office Building, Second Floor, Albany from 9.30am and can be viewed online here.

Read more


Wed December 19, 2012

Fracking opponents respond to new fracking regulations

New Yorkers Against Fracking founder Sanda Steingraber speaks at Unitarian Church of Ithaca.
Matt Richmond WSKG

Helen Slottje is an Ithaca-based lawyer who helped develop town bans against drilling. She spoke to a friendly crowd on Monday night at the Unitarian Church of Ithaca.

“It seems likes it’s become sort of an annual holiday tradition to talk about the SGEIS, SEQRA, regs and all of that. I’m glad to be here again, celebrating the holidays this sort of way,” says Slottje.

Read more


Tue December 11, 2012

Fracking regulations released for comment

A 90-day extension of the rulemaking process is widely viewed as the last step before New York makes its final decision on hydrofracking.
Matt Richmond WSKG

For those on the pro-fracking side, the newest regulations are both a good sign and a troubling one.

On the one hand, they're a light at the end of the tunnel, proof that permits for hydrofracking aren’t far off. But, on the other hand, fracking supporters say that the Department of Environmental Conservation has only answered the concerns of the anti-fracking lobby.

Read more


Wed December 5, 2012

Water withdrawal regulations leave some wanting more

Susquehanna River Basin
NASA Earth Observatory

The Department of Environmental Conservation recently released regulations on water withdrawals that would cover the natural gas industry in New York.

The new rules cover large withdrawals from the state’s public water sources and take effect in April, 2013. These are the state’s first permitting requirements for many large water users and were mandated by a water withdrawal bill passed last year by the state legislature.

For some observers, this is the first test of claims that New York’s hydrofracking regulations will be the toughest in the country. And according to Hammondsport lawyer Rachel Treichler, the DEC is failing that test.

Read more