Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Let the Countdown Begin: 30 Days of Fracking Regs

There are eight days of Hanukkah, twelve days of Christmas, and 30 days for sending comments to NY Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the new fracking regulations (unless the world really does come to an end on the 21st, which NASA and the US government promise won’t happen).

So Sandra Steingraber came up with a nifty idea: 30 comments in 30 days. And she has a website to go with it. It’s kind of like an advent calendar, but without the candy. Each day you click on the date and open the door to see … a regulation, with some explanation about what it means. The deal is: she provides the info; we provide the comments.

Today’s focus is Section 560 560.4 Setbacks. Sandra explains, in clear English, what the regulation states, and puts those setback distances into perspective. At the bottom of the page there’s a button to click to email your comment, and one to get the snail-mail address.

Will it take time? Yes, but it’s worth it to learn more about what these new regulations offer to oil and gas drillers. And it will take some time to write comments, too. But again, it’s always worth sending your 2-cents to the folks who (you hope) will ensure that your water stays drinkable and your air breatheable.

Will it cost money? Most assuredly – at most $13.20 in postage ($9.60 if you send postcards; less than $4 if the world ends next Friday). But, seriously, $13 doesn’t even qualify as Hanukkah gelt!

What happens if I miss a day? Unlike some medications, there are no serious side effects if you open two (or more) days at a time and write more than one comment in a letter. The important thing is that you let your state environmental agency know your concerns and/or approval of the regulations they have devised.

You may mail your comments to:

Attn: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-6510

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