A new loophole in the proposed state fracking regulations will enable frackers to frack right under state forests – from a well pad outside the forest. It’s spelled out right in the draft regs. which amends existing regulations to allow horizontal wells to go under state lands from adjacent private property:
190 State Lands administered by the Division of Lands and Forests
“A new subdivision is added to section 190.8 of 6 NYCRR to read as follows:
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 owned lands is prohibited and no permit shall be issued authorizing such activity. This prohibition shall apply to any pre-existing and new leases issued for oil and gas development on State owned lands. This prohibition shall not apply to subsurface access to subsurface resources located under State owned lands from adjacent private areas. ”
The last line should be dropped. As proposed, the new loophole would allow shale gas laterals to run under state land from a private well site adjacent to the state land. The lateral section of such a well could easily run up to a mile into a state forest. Which means that the forest could be ringed by gas wells, gas processing plants, compressor stations, pipelines, etc. Some leases have already been made next to state lands, possibly with this loophole in mind. See for instance the Norse Energy leases next to state lands in Chenango County, shown below. Drilling of laterals should not be allowed under state forests.