MAP – Tompkins

The Marcellus Accountability Project
for Tompkins County

Possible "Best Practices" that the Gas Industry Could Use:

Earthworks Information on Best Practices Available and Examples of Progressive Legislation
In-depth, extensive information on a variety of technologies and management practices currently being used by industry in certain places, that could be required more widely. Also gives many examples of progressive legislation on the gas industry. Very readable and well-organized.

Texas OGAP's Suggestions for Best Gas Drilling Practices
Developed for Texas, these guidelines are directly applicable to shale development here. This is a 6-page set of specific suggestions in the areas of air quality protection; noise standards; water, soil and surface protection; human safety and quality of life protections (including a minimum 1,000 foot setback from a house or other structure); wildlife, wetland and habitat protection (including use of covers over waste pits); and protection of the public interest (by requiring improved inspection and enforcement, bonding, and the analysis of potential impacts including cumulative impacts and full consideration of other land uses such as ranching, farming, cultural and wildlife management).

Green Technology the Gas Industry Could Use More to Reduce Pollution, ProPublica 12/14/09
Abrahm Lustgarten gives specific examples of greener extraction techniques the gas industry is using in a few places that could reduce water and air pollution, and the amount of fresh water used and fracking fluid disposed of. The industry admits that it only uses these practices when forced to by regulations, although some of the techniques actually save money. Examples include using less toxic drilling fluids, using infrared cameras to find and seal methane leaks on wells and pipelines, powering equipment with natural gas instead of diesel fuel, installing new equipment that pollutes less, and using closed loop systems for gathering waste from gas wells: separating some of the water for reuse and “confining the concentrated leftovers in a steel tank.” These examples are a gold mine for commenting on the SGEIS, asking DEC to carefully research and require these types of methods throughout the state.

Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project Report on US Oil and Gas Development
In this comprehensive description of oil and gas extraction methods and their problems, pp.62 to 72 in Chapter I list a variety of alternative drilling, extracting, and producing technologies that are better at protecting the environment. Chapter V, pp. 3-4, list sources for more information on alternative technologies. Very readable.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Report on Environmental Impacts of Gas Drilling
Throughout this comprehensive report on the impacts of gas drilling are green boxes called "Spotlight on Solutions," which discuss more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

National Park Service (NPS) Handbook for Oil and Gas Development in National Parks
This technical handbook was developed by the NPS to help the gas industry understand the regulations on oil and gas development in the National Parks. It gives regulations on all aspects of drilling in great detail, and is a good example of at least the minimal "good" practices we might expect the DEC to require industry to follow in NY. The NPS takes at least a little care in trying to protect the environmental assets of the National Parks.



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