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NCPR News Staff: Matt Richmond

Reporter, The Innovation Trail

Stories filed by Matt Richmond

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Fracking wastewater after treatment at temporary, privately owned facility in Pennsylvania. Photo: Matt Richmond/WSKG
Fracking wastewater after treatment at temporary, privately owned facility in Pennsylvania. Photo: Matt Richmond/WSKG

How would New York deal with hydrofracking wastewater?

About four million gallons of water goes into a typical Marcellus Shale well during the fracking process. As much as 20 percent of what went in comes back out right away. That's what's known as flowback water.

Over the life of a producing well, more than a million gallons comes out, and after the initial flowback the rest is known as produced water.  Go to full article
New York's Dept. of Environmental Conservation delayed its environmental review of fracking until the go-ahead is given by the Dept. of Health. Photo: DEC headquarters in Albany, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Kurtman518">Kurtman518</a>, released to the public domain
New York's Dept. of Environmental Conservation delayed its environmental review of fracking until the go-ahead is given by the Dept. of Health. Photo: DEC headquarters in Albany, Kurtman518, released to the public domain

Fracking delay's effect is in the eye of the beholder

Last week, New York State officials announced another delay of their final decision on hydrofracking. The Department of Environmental Conservation will wait for a report on the health protections in its environmental review of fracking. Then the environmental review can be completed.

The time frame could be less than a month or it could be much longer. And both pro- and anti-fracking groups took heart from the delay.  Go to full article
Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr
Drilling rig in the Marcellus Shale region. Photo: Laurie Barr

NYS DEC cuts complicate fracking picture

Proponents and opponents of hydrofracking in New York state read Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget closely for clues about fracking's future in the state.

They didn't see much. A decision on whether fracking will be allowed is expected after a health study is complete in February.

The agency overseeing the review, and in charge of permitting should fracking get the go-ahead, is New York's Department of Environmental Conservation. And it's in for a cut of five and a half percent in Cuomo's new budget.  Go to full article
Tyler Hale, a firefighter in Cayuga Heights, tested leather and rubber boots to measure their effects on joint and muscle movement. Photo: Matt Richmond / WSKG
Tyler Hale, a firefighter in Cayuga Heights, tested leather and rubber boots to measure their effects on joint and muscle movement. Photo: Matt Richmond / WSKG

Researchers hope to make the job of first responders easier

New York State first responders have had plenty of opportunity to put their training to the test over the past two years during extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storms Lee and Irene.

The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports on research that may make their challenging job easier, starting from the ground up.  Go to full article

NY State Assembly takes last-minute look at fracking

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation stopped accepting public comments on the state's revised regulations for hydraulic fracturing on Friday. The end of the comment period drew more opponents of the natural gas extraction method to Albany. Led by Yoko Ono and her son, Sean Lennon, they brought stacks of anti-fracking comments to the DEC.

The deadline also prompted the Democratic-controlled state assembly to convene a last-minute public hearing Thursday. It was a day-long session that included some heated exchanges, and a call for another moratorium.  Go to full article
Native-owned casinos like Turning Stone would have competition under Cuomo's plan. Photo: Oneida Nation
Native-owned casinos like Turning Stone would have competition under Cuomo's plan. Photo: Oneida Nation

Cuomo wants casinos upstate first

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address offered more details on a plan to expand casino gambling in New York State. The governor described casino development as an integral part of his ambitions for reviving the economy across the state, and he wants new casinos upstate first.  Go to full article
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail
Where drillers want to use hydrofracking in New York: pending well permit applications for high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Image: Innovation Trail

Fracking opponents prep for comments fight

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation released a draft set of regulations for hydraulic fracturing in November. Those proposed rules are open for public comment until Jan. 11, 2013.

Fracking opponents are preparing to make the most of the opportunity.  Go to full article

Warmer office could mean better health, researcher finds

It's not unusual for people to wonder if their offices are making them less healthy: people complain of a lack of fresh air, sick coworkers, and uncomfortable chairs, to name a few. In Binghamton University's bioengineering labs, researchers are looking for ways to make workplaces healthier.  Go to full article
Hydrofracking drillpad. Photo: Matt Richmond
Hydrofracking drillpad. Photo: Matt Richmond

Neither side happy with draft fracking rules

In conversation with public radio Wednesday, Gov. Andrew offered the first clues on what's in the health study on hydraulic fracturing that his health commissioner and three outside experts are currently reviewing.

"They're looking at the experiences of other states in the country where this has been done, reports of possible health consequences," said Cuomo. "They will then help us make a determination whether there's a true health risk or not."

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation opened a new public comment period on rules for hydrofracking yesterday. It's working under an extended deadline, pending the review of health experts. Under the new timeline, the Cuomo Administration is headed toward a decision by the end of February.

New York first put hydrofracking on hold in 2008. Since then, the state's environmental regulators have been crafting regulations to oversee the controversial drilling practice. The DEC released the latest draft of those rules in November. Now, neither side in the hydro fracking debate is satisfied.  Go to full article
A tanker trucks transports water for hydrofracking operations in Susquehanna County, Pa. Photo: Marie Cusick
A tanker trucks transports water for hydrofracking operations in Susquehanna County, Pa. Photo: Marie Cusick

NY water regulations raise concerns about fracking

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation appears to be nearing the end of its four-year hydrofracking review. If the DEC gives an OK to the controversial drilling technique, final regulations are expected in early 2013.

The DEC recently released regulations that would cover water use by the natural gas industry. And advocates of strict protections for freshwater aren't impressed.  Go to full article

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