DEC lists drilling requirements; Mountainkeeper wants more regs

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation recently released an 800-page report on gas drilling. Among the key points in the report were:
• Energy operators disclose all the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, including their concentration.
• Operators complete a checklist and certification form before any well can be hydraulically fractured.
• Residential drinking water wells near drilling sites be tested for contaminants prior to drilling, to establish baseline information in case an accident occurs.
• Certain kinds of waste pits – which have been responsible for water contamination in other parts of the country – be prohibited inside the New York City watershed and limited elsewhere in the state. In some cases, drillers would be required to store their waste in steel tanks.

Mountainkeeper concerns
Catskill Mountainkeeper, a locally based environmental organization, is among the groups calling for tight restrictions if gas drilling is permitted in the region.
“Serious environmental and social concerns accompany gas drilling.   There are powerful questions about whether hydraulic fracturing as it is being done is safe at all,” commented Executive Director Ramsay Adams.
Catskill Mountainkeeper lists the following as its primary concerns about this type of gas drilling:
The inability of wastewater treatment facilities to dispose of the amount of waste involved in large scale drilling.  In March 2008, the NYS DEC completed a report on the wastewater infrastructure needs of New York State.  In this report the introduction begins with “The conservative cost estimate of repairing, replacing and updating New York’s municipal wastewater infrastructure is $36.2 billion over the next 20 years.  This is without adding in the vast increases of gas production water that will need treatment.
Depletion of surface and groundwater supply for the three to eight million gallons of water needed for an individual fraccing operation.
• Increased contamination of groundwater, soil and air with toxic chemicals used in the process of gas exploration and extraction.
• The industrialization of the landscape from the construction of well pads, access roads, gravel banks for the roads, feeder pipelines, and greatly increased truck traffic on small rural roads.