From the Associated Press:
A coalition of groups dedicated to keeping New York stateís 5-year-old ban on fracking in place is demanding that the Department of Environmental Conservation withdraw its proposed regulations for new liquefied natural gas facilities, citing safety concerns and other issues.
New Yorkers Against Fracking has chartered buses to bring protesters to Albany on Wednesday for DECís public hearing on the regulations, which would end a 40-year moratorium on new LNG storage and fueling facilities. The state enacted the ban after an explosion killed 40 workers at a Staten Island LNG storage plant. Officials later lifted the ban, but said no facilities would be allowed until regulations were issued.
Liquefied natural gas is increasingly being adopted as a cheaper, less polluting alternative to diesel fuel for long-haul trucking fleets. At least one fuel company has plans to add LNG to some of its New York truck stops when the regulations are in place.
While DEC officials say the regulations are aimed at fueling stations, opponents say the document contains no limits on the size of facilities and would allow onsite conversion at gas well sites to increase ease of transportation, as well as terminals for the import and export of LNG at marine ports outside of New York City.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has produced an abundance of natural gas from wells in shale formations in other states. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will decide whether to allow it in the state, but has said heís waiting for a report from his health commissioner on potential health impacts.
DEC is taking public comments on its proposed LNG regulations until Dec. 4.