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Summary of Shale Study Expected in New York

Officials with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) said they plan to make an announcement Friday on the status of the state's long-awaited environmental impact study on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the Marcellus Shale.

Estimates put potential natural gas reserves in New York's portion of the Marcellus Basin behind those of Pennsylvania and West Virginia, where drilling and production have been flourishing over the last several years.

Meanwhile, the New York Times, just days after publishing stories questioning shale prospects (see Daily GPI, June 29; June 28), published another one on its website Thursday asserting that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was poised to unilaterally lift the state's de facto moratorium on fracking.

In fact, the DEC has said it will be making an announcement on Friday regarding its supplemental generic environmental impact statement (SGEIS). "There will be an announcement explaining the status of the report on the 1st [of July]," DEC spokesman Michael Bopp told NGI's Shale Daily on Thursday. "It may not be the release of the full report, but it will be an explanation about what we are providing to the governor."

Chris Tucker, spokesman for the shale gas education initiative Energy In Depth, told NGI's Shale Daily that the DEC should release an executive summary of the SGEIS to the public on Friday and will give the governor the full report, which could total more than 1,000 pages.

"At some point next week we should get the actual full document," Tucker said Thursday, adding that the release would then mark the beginning of a comment period. "Within that comment period we expect DEC to convene some community meetings and gather comments, and issue a final report sometime by the end of summer or early fall."

(To read the full story go to shaledaily.com).

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