New York’s proposed fracking regulations would allow a new loophole for drilling directly under state lakes via a new sentence that requires the drilling pad to be outside of the lake . . . on private land. Meaning all the frackers have to do is lease enough land for a drilling site next to the lake or park, then turn the horizontal section of the well under the lake. Tricky huh ? Here’s the wording in the proposed fracking regulations – not the SGEIS, which is just a guideline that does not control – but the actual fracking regulations that the DEC is hell-bent to push out the door :
52. Use of State Lands Administered by the Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Services
“52.3 Prohibitions. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, surface disturbance associated with the drilling of a natural gas well subject to Part 560 of this Title on State lands is prohibited and no permit shall be issued authorizing such activity. This prohibition shall apply to any pre-existing leases and any new leases issued for oil and gas development on State lands. This prohibition, however, does not include subsurface access to subsurface resources located under State lands from adjacent private areas. “
“Marine Services” has jurisdiction over most state lakes and some rivers. The last sentence in the paragraph creates a loophole to drill horizontally under state lakes from private property on the shore. In effect, a state lake could be ringed by drilling rigs, which would be a dandy way to poison the lake or river.
No horizontal hydrofracking should be allowed next to or under state controlled bodies of water. Drilling gas wells is a textbook way to introduce methane into such bodies of water and groundwater, as discussed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/66390117/SGEIS-Aquifers
As written, the proposed regulations would allow horizontal shale gas wells to be drilled under state lakes, which include all of the major lakes in the state except the New York City reservoirs. This means that a horizontal shale well could be drilled under Lake Cayuga, Lake Otsego etc., so long as the well pad was 2,000 feet away from the lake shore. Since horizontal shale wells can run laterally more than 2,000 feet, this would effectively enable a gas well to go under the lake bed; which would make it highly likely that the lake water would be gassed with methane and polluted with run off from the well pad.