Because of significant interest in the draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement and draft regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation established procedures for the public hearings to ensure as many speakers as possible have an opportunity to verbally provide comments.
“Public comment on the proposed requirements for high-volume hydraulic fracturing is essential and helps inform the process,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. “We established procedures for the public hearings to ensure as many different speakers as possible are heard. We encourage individuals to familiarize themselves with the proposal, attend the hearings and submit public comments.”
At the hearings, each speaker will have three minutes to comment and speakers will be heard on a first-come, first-serve basis. Entry to hearing locations will begin one hour prior to the start time of the hearings.
As a courtesy to other potential speakers, commenters will not be able to speak more than once if other commenters have not yet had an opportunity to speak. This includes afternoon and evening hearings in the same location as well as subsequent hearing locations. In addition, speakers will not be permitted to transfer their time to another person.
State elected officials, federal elected officials and agency representatives and chief executive officers of counties, cities and towns will be allowed to speak at the beginning of the hearings because these speakers’ comments represent the concerns of the constituents that elected them or the federal agency they speak on behalf of.
DEC’s four public hearings each have an afternoon and an evening session from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, respectively. Comments will be accepted in written and oral format at the hearings. Comments on the dSGEIS, draft regulations and the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Discharges can be submitted by mail and through the Web through Dec. 12.
The hearings will be held:
- Nov. 16: Dansville Middle School Auditorium, 31 Clara Barton St., Dansville, NY 14437
- Nov. 17: The Forum Theatre, 236 Washington Street, Binghamton, NY 13901
- Nov. 29: Sullivan County Community College, Seelig Theatre, 112 College Rd, Loch Sheldrake, NY 12759
- Nov. 30: Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007
Once the comment period is complete, DEC will review the comments on the revised draft SGEIS and proposed regulations and prepare responses to be released with the final SGEIS and final regulations. No permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing could be issued until the SGEIS is finalized and DEC issues the required Findings Statement.
Comments can be submitted by Web at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html or by mail to:
Attn: dSGEIS Comments
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Albany, NY 12233-6510
For more information on: the dSGEIS: http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/75370.html;
the proposed State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit (GP) for Stormwater Discharges along with its fact sheet: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/77251.html; and
the proposed regulations: http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/propregulations.html