When will the DEC issue its fracking regulations ? When their criminal defense lawyers think they can defend them in court. Isn’t that a fine way to run an environmental agency ? They’re still trying to figure out how to get enough lipstick on the fracking pig. . . As if there was really any fracking rush.
The DEC has known it was going to get sued the day it issues it’s fracking regulations. They have known this from the outset, as we noted some time ago, when the press was saying regs. would be out by Labor Day. Andrew Revkin did a dot.earth post about the Groundhog Day phenomena: the DEC came out of their hole, saw the lawyers and went back down into the bunker. They known they are going to get sued by the environmentalists – which they have openly admitted, as indicated in the article below – over their failure to do a Health Impact Assessment (among other things). And they know that dry shale gas is DOA in New York State for now, which they have yet to admit openly. The gas companies certainly know it, which is why the big ones are already pulling out, letting leases lapse, and the little speculators are trying to unload their New York properties – cheap and fast. While they are still doing talk shows and Truthland panels and getting town boards to turn into fracking collaborators that will roll out the red carpet to landmen.
So no fracking rush no more in New York. Which gives Cuomo time to reassess his hasty gamble on shale gas, at a runty $2.50 mcf. Realize that, if they removed everything in the SGEIS that was not put there by a fracking lobbyist or is a political carve-out or a made-as-paid bit of fracking hyperbole, there would be nothing fracking left but the flyleaves and the front and back covers. So room for improvement, even for New York’s finest environmental agency – in name only.
Meanwhile, the Binghamton court concurred with the Dryden and Middlefield Home Rule rulings. So towns are best advised to adopt road and land use ordinances to protect themselves from fracking.
As Mary Menapace, RN has pointed out, having the DOH take a look at the DEC’s spin on health impacts is not a Health Impact Assessment, it’s just bureaucratic log-rolling, having Peter tell his twin Paul he got an A+. Good luck trying to defend that bit of window dressing in court.
On Martens’ Press Release on DEC ‘studying the health Impacts – the call from medical professionals has rightly been for a Health Impact Assessment. What Martens has said is that the DEC “will study the health impacts” is not the same as a Health Impact Assessment. What Martens has proposed, a closed review of whatever data it is they have gathered, is not acceptable.Mary Menapace RNSkaneateles
Why use an HIA?
HIA is based on four values that link the HIA to the policy environment in which it is being undertaken.
Democracy – allowing people to participate in the development and implementation of policies,
programs or projects that may impact on their lives.
Equity – HIA assesses the distribution of impacts from a proposal on the whole population, with a particular reference to how the proposal will affect vulnerable people (in terms of age, gender, ethnic background and socio-economic status).
Sustainable development – that both short and long term impacts are considered, along with the obvious, and less obvious impacts.
Ethical use of evidence – the best available quantitative and qualitative evidence must be identified and used in the assessment. A wide variety of evidence should be collected using the best possible methods
The DEC is not going to do an HIA – because the DEC is the state’s minerals management agency. And minerals management agencies do not do health impact assessments – they sell drilling permits.
New day, new fracking spinner, same fracking spin:
Translation: You have to show the court that you weren’t a complete fracking sellout. In simple English, you have to go thru the motions of appearing to do the right thing.
So they are going to let the DOH take a look at the nonsense that is the dSGEIS. . .
Including the “science” behind the absolute worst fracking regulations of any state in the US.
“We’re going to make it look like we tried real hard to not be total fracking sell-outs.”