Environment Committee Alert

Contact: Darren Suarez
September 7, 2011

With today’s release of the “Economic Assessment Report for the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on New York State’s Oil, Gas, and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, DEC announces the beginning of 90-day public comment period of the draft SGEIS.

The DEC study confirms that the Marcellus Shale will have a positive transformative impact on the New York economy. The DEC study concludes that under a low development scenario (413 horizontal wells) direct employment is expect to be 4,408 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, and under a medium development scenario (1,652 horizontal wells) direct employment is expect to be 17,653 FTE workers. These jobs are estimated to bring between $419.6 million to $ 1.7 billion in earnings for these workers.

The DEC study results are similar in nature to the results contained in the PPI report entitled, "Drilling for Jobs." The DEC’s socio-economic analysis concludes that drilling will generate additional indirect employment. Under a low development scenario indirect employment will generate 7,293 FTE under the average development scenario indirect employment is project to increase to 29,174 FTE.

The public comment period for the revised draft SGEIS begins today and will conclude on December 12. The public comment period for the regulations will begin in early October and will run concurrently with the SGEIS public comment period. DEC plans to hold four public hearings during the comment period for the SGEIS and regulations in November. The hearings will be held in counties within the Marcellus Shale region, as well as New York City. Exact dates and locations will be released in early October.

Once the comment period is complete, DEC will review the comments on the draft SGEIS and proposed regulations and prepare responses to be released with the final SGEIS. No permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be issued until the SGEIS is finalized and DEC issues the required Findings Statement Comments can be submitted by Web at the DEC website or by mail to:

Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

The Business Council will be preparing and submitting testimony and comments focusing upon the changes in the 2011 revised draft SGEIS and the proposed regulation. The development of those comments will occur in concert with our membership through the Business Council’s Marcellus Shale Working Group.

The Business Council will convene the Marcellus Shale Working Group on Wednesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m., to discuss the amendments contained in the updated sGEIS, proposed regulation, the DEC advisory panel, DEC staffing levels, fees and severance tax, and comptroller’s spill fund.