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Calling on DEC to Extend Comment Period on Gas Drilling

 

Hon. Pete Grannis
Commissioner
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-0001

Dear Commissioner Grannis,

I am writing to request that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation establish a public comment period for the forthcoming draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) on Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing that is long enough to allow for the input of New York City Community Boards. Specifically, I am requesting that the period, which is required to last a minimum of 30 days by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) §617.9(a)(3), last at least 60 days to enable Community Boards to address the dSGEIS through their established review process.

As you know, Community Boards often issue advisory resolutions on matters, including public health and the environment, that affect their neighborhoods. As such, at least two of the seven Community Boards in my district have already expressed interest in commenting on this dSGEIS, and I believe others will too, given widespread concerns regarding the potential impacts of the proposed drilling. However, the drafting and passing of a Community Board resolution is at least a month-long process in which both the relevant committee and the full Board must take up the subject at their regularly-scheduled monthly meetings.

Unfortunately, due to the varying schedules on which New York City’s 59 Boards operate, if the comment period for the dSGEIS were limited to 30 days, it is likely that many Boards would not have sufficient time to pass a resolution. Extending the public comment period to 60 days would provide an opportunity for all of their voices, which are representative of their communities, to be heard.

I thank you for your dedication to public engagement and for considering my request. If you or your staff have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call my office at (212) 633-8052. If I am not available, please speak to Jared Chausow, who is working with me on this issue.

Sincerely,

Thomas K. Duane
New York State Senate
29th District