Ducks and geese like swampy areas, also known as ‘wetlands’. On their next migration, they might want to steer clear of New York. Because the proposed new fracking regulations make it easier than ever to frack ducks. The DEC has eliminated all specific protections for wetlands – there is no setback requirement for a shale gas well from a wetland. Open season on fracking ducks. The only setback is for “regulated wetlands” is in 560.6, for diesel fuel storage tanks:
560.6 Well Construction and Operation (b) Site Maintenance (1) For any well;
(ii)fueling tanks must not be placed within 500 feet of a perennial or intermittent stream, storm drain, regulated wetland, lake or pond;
The drilling permit application has to show if it is within 500 feet of a wetland, but that’s just a map, not a setback. Absent a setback, the well could be drilled next to the wetland or in the wet land. It’s up to Brad Field to make the call.
560.3 Application Requirements, Procedures and Fees
(a) Application requirements. In addition to the requirements found in Part 552 of this Title, an application for a permit to drill, deepen, plug back or convert a well subject to this Part shall contain information specified on a department-approved form including:
(6) scaled distance from the proposed surface location of the well and the closest edge of the proposed well pad to any primary or principal aquifer boundary, perennial or intermittent stream, wetland, storm drain, lake, or pond within 500 feet, and any surface water body within 500 feet that is a tributary to a public drinking water supply;
In the latest regs. the DEC has eliminated the freeboard requirement on drilling pits, meaning you can fill them to overflowing with fracking flowback, drilling mud, what have you. See 560.4 (4) (viii) And open pits are allowed on any wells other than Marcellus Shale wells (see 560.6 (7) (i) (such as Utica Shale wells . . . ). That simply increases the likelihood of spills of fracking fluids, drilling mud, produced water and frack flowback into places like wetlands and swamps. You know, where the mallards, geese and pintails used to be .