The New York DEC is proposing to make it much easier for frackers to gas cows. Or school children. Or both at the same time. Because, you see, in the fracking regulations the DEC just proposed, the frackers can drill multiples shale gas wells right next to a school yard or a cow pasture. And after they have finished the wells, they can vent the fracking raw gas for up to seven (7) days. If the wind blows right that should be about enough to sicken the cows. Or the school kids. Or both.
Allow me to explain . . . .
The only land uses protected by the proposed new fracking regulations are “inhabited dwellings” meaning currently inhabited residences and “places of assembly” – such as a public auditorium, theatre, or restaurant. A school yard – which is often frequented by school children – is none of the above. Nor is a factory or office building or an out-patient clinic. Or a cattle herd (“assembly” does not apply to Herefords or Black Angus, nor does “dwelling” apply to a barn) So a fracking fracker can drill a fracking well right fracking next to them. Or, given the magic of the Split Estate or Compulsory Integration, drill right in the midst of them – say between the swing set and the water fountain. Or between the milking shed and the cow pasture. Nothing in the fracking regs. to prevent that.
So far, so bad.
When the fracking well is fracking completed, the operator can vent the damn thing for cumulatively up to seve (7) days cumulative. See 556.2 (b) Meaning allow raw gas – laced with radon, benzene, etc. – go right down the hill (radon sinks) or downwind into the school yard or cow pasture. This should be sufficient to sicken most school kids and kill all but the toughest old Longhorns, as explained here.
If the frackers have their way with New York, you may get a chance to find out the hard way. Unless, of course, your town council have gotten off their behinds and passed a land use ordinance. . .