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Rules slated for shale gas drilling in NY

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued preliminary regulations that would permit hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells in the state’s vast Marcellus Shale region.

The practice of pumping large quantities of water into horizontally drilled gas wells is also known as hydrofracking, a lucrative method of gas exploitation that hasn’t been permitted in the state since DEC began drafting new permitting rules three years ago.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens on Wednesday announced the proposed regulations and the opening of a public comment period on a draft environmental impact statement it recently released.

The public comment period will remain open until December 12. DEC will also hold four public hearings on its draft regulations. Hearings are scheduled Nov. 16 in Dansville, Nov. 17 in Binghamton, Nov. 29 in Sheldrake and Nov. 30 in Manhattan.

Once the comment period is complete, DEC will release its final regulations governing hydraulic fracturing.

Comments can be submitted on the web at www.dec.ny.gov

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