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Current Fracking Comment Count: 837 (UPDATE)

Posted By Jon Campbell On December 28, 2012 @ 12:07 pm In Other | Comments Disabled

Sixteen days into the latest public-comment period on the state’s proposed hydrofracking regulations, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has received a total of 837 comments.

That total includes 390 submitted online and 447 sent via mail, according to DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis.

The DEC unveiled its latest set of proposed high-volume hydrofracking regulations in late November as part of a regulatory maneuver to buy another 90 days to finalize them. As part of that, it had to reopen them to public comment for 30 days, which began Dec. 12.

The comment period runs through Jan. 11.

The amount of comments seems to be lagging behind the last comment period, which began in September 2011. But that period, which ended in January, closed with tens of thousands of comments in the final days that were submitted by environmental and landowners groups that had been collecting them.

UPDATE: New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of anti-fracking groups, claims to have collected 40,000 comments that will be submitted at the end of the current comment period.

“Despite the holiday season and DEC’s backwards process of releasing revised regulations before the state’s own health review was completed, opponents of fracking in New York have been mobilizing New Yorkers to provide thoughtful comments that will be submitted to the DEC at the end of the comment period,” John Armstrong of Frack Action said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a group of elected officials opposed to hydrofracking penned a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, calling on them to extend the latest comment period to a total of 90 days. Their rationale? Many governing bodies on the local level don’t meet before Jan. 11, making it difficult for them to approve comments for submission.

Extending the comment period to 90 days, however, would push the DEC past its Feb. 27 deadline for finalizing the regulations, which would mean the regulatory process would have to restart.

The letter, dated Dec. 21, was released by the group—Elected Officials to Protect New York—earlier today.

Letter to Gov. Cuomo and Commissioner Martens on Comment Period 2012-12-21 [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] Letter to Gov. Cuomo and Commissioner Martens on Comment Period 2012-12-21: http://www.scribd.com/doc/118231957/Letter-to-Gov-Cuomo-and-Commissioner-Martens-on-Comment-Period-2012-12-21