Times Union reports that DEC will release the final fracking EIS before Labor Day
The Times Union commentator, Fred LeBrun, reports that DEC is prepared to move forward with fracking permits on a limited scale with no new DEC inspection staff, no taxes or levies on the drilling industry to cover the costs of fracking to the state or local communities, and no plan for regulating the disposal of fracking wastewater. LeBrun also states, “the administration has concluded it cannot rely on the strength of existing laws and current DEC funding in this area to adequately protect the state, its citizens and resources.” If this is so, DEC should issue NO permits until truly protective laws and sufficient DEC funding have been put in place. Otherwise, LeBrun has it right. The Governor will be allowing the drilling industry, once again, to privatize the profits and socialize the costs, which New York taxpayers will have to bear. Riverkeeper is prepared to sue if DEC moves forward with permitting without remedying the significant deficiencies in its 2011 draft Environmental Impact Statement and without putting essential environmental, fiscal and legal protections in place.