Or office buildings, public parks, shopping centers. Pretty much any land use in New York – because the only setback for a shale gas well in New York is from “dwellings” which are defined as “any building or structure or portion thereof which is occupied in whole or in part as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more human beings.“ Meaning a shale gas well could be drilled right next to any non-residential building, like an office building, warehouse, hotel, factory, or a shopping center. Or a school yard.
The only other setback in the regulations from a land use is 500 feet from places of “public assembly” which are defined in New York as an enclosed gathering space for the public, such as a church, auditorium or movie theatre. Or an enclosed tent, such as a circus tent. Where fracking clowns perform. But not a school yard. The setback in New York state of a shale gas well from school yards, playing fields, or public parks is zero – all of those land uses can be gassed by an adjacent rig under the proposed regulations.
That is because the fracking regulations in New York are just that – fracking regulations, overseen by Mineral Resources – they are not environmental regulations nor are they land use regulations. This appalling lack of safeguards is a textbook argument for local land use ordinances – Home Rule. Because the DEC’s fracking regulations are a fracking joke – that isn’t particularly funny.