Leaders, Coalition Members and Supporters:
As many of you are aware, we heard more bad news on Friday evening. The DEC reported that they will likely not be finished with the health review by November 29, 2012, which means the proposed rules they have in place governing gas development (not the SGEIS ) will expire. However, Commissioner Martens pulled back on that expectation yesterday, stating ""We are working with the Department of Health right now on questions like the scope of the health review, and we haven't made any decisions on whether or not we'll meet the deadline for the regulations. If we complete the process, we'll finalize the regulations. It really depends on the timetable for the health review."
Please see the Summary of NYSDEC Draft Regulations for HVHF MS Word Document attached below.
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/More-uncertainty-for-fracking-3910794.php#ixzz289c3PHia
There are three scenarios that are possible:
1) The DOH wraps up their review of the Health analysis and the regs and SGEIS are issued on-time
2) The DEC extends the current regulatory process for 90 days, which will include a 30 public comment period. The SGEIS can be issued independently, if the decision is made that the agency wants to start issuing permits during the pendency of the rulemaking.
3) The DEC can start the regulatory process all over again, reissuing the regs (likely with changes) and following the steps required by the State Administrative Procedures Act, including a 45 day public comment period and hearings. This would take 90 days at a minimum, however, given the number of comments that are likely to be generated on the aspects of the regs that could be changed, it is more likely to take the better part of a year. Again, it is possible that the DEC decides to issue the SGEIS any time during this process and begins to take permit applications.
It is impossible to state with any certainty at this time which of these scenarios will play out. Bear with us while we seek more information on the ramifications of each of these scenarios and try to gauge the likelihood of each of them coming to pass.