Written by Jon Campbell Albany Bureau, Gannett
ALBANY — New York regulators may have to signal
a decision on hydraulic fracturing by Feb. 13 if they hope to meet
an end-of-the-month deadline for finalizing a set of proposed
The state Department of Environmental Conservation faces a
Feb. 27 deadline to either finalize the planned hydrofracking rules
or allow them to expire.
But an extensive environmental review — known as the
Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, or the SGEIS
-- has to be released first. State law mandates that the SGEIS must
be released to the public at least 10 days before the DEC issues a
“findings statement,” which would include an ultimate decision on
whether to allow fracking in New York.
The document, which totaled 1,500 pages in a 2011 draft, would
have to be published in the DEC’s official bulletin, which is
printed each Wednesday. The final Wednesday that meets the 10-day
advanced notice period would be Feb. 13.
“We’re optimistically hopeful something will be released by
(Feb. 13),” said Yvonne Hennessey, who represents the oil-and-gas
industry as an Albany-based lawyer with Hiscock & Barclay
The DEC declined to respond to inquiries about the
While much of the focus has been on the Feb. 27 deadline, Feb.
13 could prove to be just as important in the fracking