Registered Water Withdrawals in New York State

Registered Water Withdrawals in New York State

– JULY 14, 2013POSTED IN: ARTICLESDATA AND ANALYSIS

By Karen Edelstein, NY Program Coordinator, FracTracker Alliance

As of April 1, 2013, new regulations 6 NYCRR Parts 601 and 621 in New York State have been in effect that require users of large quantities of water to apply for withdrawal permits. The largest users of water—those with withdrawals of more than 100 million gallons per day—are the first group required to apply. The permit system then adds users on a yearly basis, targeting systems with decreasingly need. In 2014, the target group is users of 10-100 million gallons/day; in 2015, it is 2-10 million gallons/day, and so on. The full schedule is in Table 1, below. There are no fees associated with this permitting process.

In order to assess the geographic impacts of these varying uses, attorney Rachel Treichler submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. FracTracker Alliance assisted her in this effort by visualizing the data. Treichler believes that the new regulations make it virtually impossible for DEC to balance competing needs between large and small users.

In this interactive map, larger dots signify larger withdrawal. Click on each dot in the map to get more information.

Yellow: 0.0001-0.5 million gal/day
Light green: 0.5001-2 million gal/day
Dark green: 2.001-10 million gal/day
Medium blue: 10.001-100 million gal/day
Dark blue: >100 million gal/day

Until the adoption of these permitting requirements, water withdrawals in New York were governed by riparian rights determined by case law. Riparian rights are correlative–they fluctuate depending on the needs of other users and the amount of water available. Although the new regulations affirm that riparian rights will not be affected by the granting of permits, there is concern that users granted permits for stated amounts of water usage may be reluctant to adjust to the needs of other users in times of water scarcity. In New York State, both the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) and the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) have strong regulatory authority over withdrawals, and the new New York regulations provide that withdrawals subject to permitting by these commissions are exempt from the permitting requirements of the regulations. Comparable commissions with authority to regulate water withdrawals do not exist in the Great Lakes watershed, which includes the Finger Lakes Region, or in the other watersheds in the state, and in these watersheds, the permitting requirements of the regulations are the only generally-applicable water permitting requirements.

Currently, New York State has an abundance of water—there is certainly enough to go around to meet domestic and commercial uses. However, with climate change, continued population growth, and the potential for an uptick in hydrofracking throughout the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, the possibility for New York State being asked to sell or export our water increases considerably.

Under the current system, even by 2017, withdrawal permits will not be required for daily use under 100,000 gallons. While cumbersome, it would not be difficult for a typical hydrofracked site to sidestep any withdrawal permitting process if the water were removed over the course of several days by several different private haulers, particularly if the water were hauled any distance. It is conceivable that the gas drilling industry could readily exploit this loophole in the regulations.

Table 1. Dates by which Application for Initial Permit Must Be Completed

June 1, 2013 Systems that withdraw or are designed to withdraw a volume of 100 million gallons per day (mgd) or more
Feb. 15, 2014 Systems that withdraw or are designed to withdraw a volume equal to or greater than 10 mgd but less than 100 mgd
Feb. 15, 2015 Systems that withdraw or are designed to withdraw a volume equal to or greater than 2 mgd but less than 10 mgd
Feb. 15, 2016 Systems that withdraw or are designed to withdraw a volume equal to or greater than 0.5 mgd but less than 2 mgd
Feb. 15, 2017 Systems that withdraw or are designed to withdraw a volume equal to or greater than 0.1 but less than 0.5 mgd

Meet Anthony Ingraffea—From Industry Insider to Implacable Fracking Opponent – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

Meet Anthony Ingraffea—From Industry Insider to Implacable Fracking Opponent – EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement.

DEP/AboutDEPPortalFiles/RemarksAndTestimonies/MLK-Testimony-111611.pdf

files.dep.state.pa.us/AboutDEP/AboutDEPPortalFiles/RemarksAndTestimonies/MLK-Testimony-111611.pdf.

Natural Gas Drilling: Pennsylvania’s Perspective  

The States’ Regulation of the Natural Gas Industry 

Testimony of 

Michael L. Krancer 

Secretary 

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 

Department of Environmental Protection 

Before the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, 

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 

US oil and gas pipeline safety and risk assessment developments

US oil and gas pipeline safety and risk assessment developments.

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA

This is a good synoptic statement about Federal pipelines; there are also many that are within state and they are built and operated under state authority.

High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Proposed Regulations – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Proposed Regulations – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.  2012

Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells – Bloomberg

Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep U.S. Clueless on Wells – Bloomberg.

U.S. GAO – Water Pollution: EPA Has Improved Its Review of Effluent Guidelines but Could Benefit from More Information on Treatment Technologies

U.S. GAO – Water Pollution: EPA Has Improved Its Review of Effluent Guidelines but Could Benefit from More Information on Treatment Technologies.

The Post-Election Politics of the Revolving Door by David Sirota on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent

The Post-Election Politics of the Revolving Door by David Sirota on Creators.com – A Syndicate Of Talent.

Fracking confronts Florida | The News-Press | news-press.com

Exclusive: Fracking confronts Florida | The News-Press | news-press.com.

South Florida may be ripe for fracking.

The controversial process of drilling for oil and natural gas is pumping billions into government coffers, residents’ pockets and energy company bank accounts across the country, creating thousands of jobs, reducing reliance on foreign energy — and causing environmental concerns.

Fracking, formally called hydraulic fracturing, involves injecting a well with a cocktail of water, chemicals and sand at high pressure to fracture rock and access previously untapped reserves.

A fracking frenzy has swept through North Dakota, Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming, Colorado, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Montana, Texas and elsewhere. In Williston, N.D., Mayor Ward Koeser said fracking brought the state $1.5 to $2 billion in the last year alone. “It’s been intense,” he said.

Fracking is inevitable in South Florida, maybe within a year, said Ed Pollister, owner/operator of a small company called Century Oil, with offices in Immokalee and Michigan.

Breaking all the Rules: Oil & Gas Enforcement

EARTHWORKS | Oil & Gas Enforcement.

 

Oil & Gas Enforcement

FINAL-enf-national-full-250x324

States are failing to enforce oil & gas rules

Thanks to federal loopholes unique to the oil and gas industry, state government is the primary regulator of oil and gas development.

So the public is entitled to know, are states doing a good job overseeing the oil & gas development industry?

Breaking All the Rules: The Crisis in Oil & Gas Regulatory Enforcement, demonstrates that states across the country are failing to enforce their own oil and gas development regulations.

The one-year, in-depth research project examined enforcement data and practices in Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, New York, New Mexico and Colorado and includes interviews with ex-industry and state agency employees.

The research produced the national reports, and six state reports focusing on the pertinent state agencies:

In addition to these publications, supporting data from the research can be found in the For More Information links below.