DEC names hydrofracking advisory panel 7/11
11:49 AM, Jul. 1, 2011 | Written by Joseph Spector
ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation today named a mix of environmental leaders, businesses and Binghamton-area lawmakers to an advisory panel to guide regulations on allowing natural-gas drilling in New York.
The 12-member High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel will be charged with developing recommendations to ensure DEC and other agencies are adequately overseeing the controversial drilling process and developing proper regulations. They will also evaluate fees and other revenue streams to fund government oversight of hydrofracking.
“I want to thank the panel members for agreeing to participate,” said DEC commissioner Joseph Martens. “The guidance they will provide will be invaluable as we move forward with this process.”
The DEC yesterday released a series of recommendations on how to properly monitor hydrofracking, a technique used by natural-gas drillers involving the injection of a mix of water, sand and chemicals into shale formations to release gas.
The DEC recommendations include a ban on high-volume hydrofracking in the Syracuse and New York City watersheds, as well as all state-owned land. Gas wells would be kept at least 500 feet away from primary aquifers, which provide drinking water to most of the state’s urban centers.
The full, 900-page report was to be submitted today to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and will be released publicly next Friday. A 60-day comment period will begin in August. No drilling will be allowed before then.
The panel includes:
— Sen. Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, the deputy majority leader
— Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County
— Stan Lundine, former lieutenant governor
— Kathleen McGinty, former chair of White House Council on Environmental Quality under President Clinton
— Eric A. Goldstein and Kate Sinding, senior attorneys at the Natural Resources Defense Council
— Robert Hallman, board chair of the NY League of Conservation Voters
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance
— Robert Moore, executive director of Environmental Advocates
— Mark Brownstein, chief counsel of the energy program of the Environmental Defense Fund
— Heather Briccetti, acting president & CEO of Business Council of New York State
— Robert Catell, chairman of the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at SUNY Stony Brook
— Mark Boling, executive vice president of general counsel and secretary of Southwestern Energy