New York Issues Final Environmental Review on High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

On May 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released its Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, signaling the completion of its environmental review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing.  NYSDEC previously released drafts of the SGEIS in September 2009 and September 2011, which generated more than 260,000 public comments during the applicable review periods.  The final SGEIS will be followed by the issuance of a legally-binding Findings Statement  by the NYSDEC Commissioner, Joseph Martens.  Last December, the New York State Department of Health recommended prohibiting hydraulic fracturing, based upon the agency’s public health review, and Commissioner Martens anticipated that his Findings Statement would include a ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.