Monday, October 29, 2012

The FACTS about HVHF well setbacks for NY (with references)

OK for distribution to all lists.

Someone on the Pressconnects site was claiming that an HVHF well could not be located within 100' of a house. He said: "Read the SGEIS"

So I just looked this up again. The answer is not in a single location.
  • It's not in the SGEIS.
  • It's not in the new proposed regs.
    mentioned in the new regs!!!

First, the SGEIS is not the right place to look. The SGEIS only establishes PERMITTING CONDITIONS. The SGEIS is not regs. The only mention of setbacks in the SGEIS use language like "ASSUMPTION" and "PROPOSED".  Have a look:  (e.g., check 6.8.2)

When you check the new regs, in a way, it's actually WORSE than 100' from a house. There is NO SETBACK mentioned from a house, school, a shopping mall or any structure listed in the proposed HVHF regs. The ONLY setbacks refer to setbacks relate to water supplies. See for yourself.

§560.4 Setbacks.
(a) No well pad or portion of a well pad may be located:
(1) closer than 500 feet from a private water well unless waived by the water well owner;
(2) within a primary aquifer and a 500-foot buffer from the boundary of a primary aquifer;
(3) within a 100-year floodplain; and
(4) within 2,000 feet of any public water supply (municipal or otherwise) well, reservoir, natural lake or man-made impoundment (except engineered impoundments constructed for fresh water storage associated with fracturing operations), and river or stream intake.

So, if you have a private water well next to your house, or live adjacent to a "primary aquifer" then your a protected with a 500' buffer. If you live with municipal water, there is NO SETBACK from a house, or a school, or a day care center, or a market. NO SETBACK WHATSOEVER.

The last place to look are the 1972 regs of Oil, Gas and Solutions mining
(which predates the more impactful HVHF):

§553.2 Surface restrictions

No well shall be located nearer than 100 feet from any inhabited private dwelling house without written consent of the owner [CHECK YOUR LEASE!!!]; nearer than 150 feet from any public building or area which may be used as a place of resort, assembly, education, entertainment, lodging, trade, manufacture, repair, storage, traffic or occupancy by the public; nearer than 75 feet to the traveled part of any State, county, township, or municipal road or any public street, road or highway; or nearer than 50 feet from any public stream, river or other body of water. This regulation, which is adopted in the interest of public safety, does not apply to a building or structure which is incident to agricultural use of the land on which it is located, unless such building is used as a private dwelling house or in the business of retail trade.

SO-- IF the 1992 regs apply to HVHF wells (which is not 100% clear), then you get a 100' setback from a house UNLESS THE OWNER GIVES PERMISSION (so be sure to check your lease!!!). Public buildings such as a school or library or shopping mall gets 150'. Roads get 75', streams get 50'.

May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

No comments: