Starkey Citizens for a Clean & Healthy Environment
Water Withdrawal Regulations Leave Some Wanting More (R. Treichler Interview)

The Department of Environmental Conservation recently released regulations on water withdrawals that would cover the natural gas industry in New York.

The new rules cover large withdrawals from the state’s public water sources and take effect in April, 2013. These are the state’s first permitting requirements for many large water users and were mandated by a water withdrawal bill passed last year by the state legislature.

For some observers, this is the first test of claims that New York’s hydrofracking regulations will be the toughest in the country. And according to Hammondsport lawyer Rachel Treichler, the DEC is failing that test.

“I guess I’m one of the people that think water is far more valuable than gas, and why would we give this valuable resource to the gas industry?” says Treichler.

She says that since New York won’t have permitting fees or carry out cumulative analysis of fracking’s impact on water supplies, its regulations are weaker than ones that already exist.

These regulations are separate from the ones being finalized, along with the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, or SGEIS, that will cover hydrofracking if the controversial drilling technique is given the go-ahead.

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