Oil and Gas Related Organizations
To represent and protect New York's interests with respect to mineral resource development issues, and to keep abreast of current technologies and practices, the Director and staff of DEC's Division of Mineral Resources maintain contacts with numerous government officials and industry representatives. Important oil and gas-related organizations in which the department participates include:
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public benefit corporation created in 1975 by the New York State Legislature. One of NYSERDA's role is to work with New York's industry to reduce the risk associated with using new technologies for exploration and drilling and identify new resources. NYSERDA provides funding to support these new technologies. In addition to supporting innovative exploration and drilling products NYSERDA has produced several publications on its supported research and the status of the industry.
Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC)
The IOGCC is a voluntary organization of oil and gas producing states founded in 1935 and authorized by Congress and the United States Constitution. The IOGCC's mission is to promote conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources, while protecting health, safety and the environment. New York's official voting representative is Bradley J. Field, Director, Division of Mineral Resources. Other state employees or private citizens with appropriate expertise often serve on committees as non-voting members.
The IOGCC advocates state-level regulation of petroleum resources and promotes regulatory coordination and government efficiency. New York actively participates in meetings where states, industry, environmentalists and federal officials share information and perspectives on emerging technologies and environmental issues. The group's work focuses on developing and implementing sound regulatory practices that maximize oil and natural gas production, minimize the waste of irreplaceable resources, and protect human and environmental health.
Appalachian and Illinois Basin Directors
Because of a unique combination of geology, geography and history, state oil and gas regulators in the Appalachian region confront environmental issues that are markedly different from those in the major producing regions of the country. Under the umbrella of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, members of the Appalachian and Illinois Basin Directors (AAIBD) share information, strategies, and regionally appropriate solutions.
For example, abandoned wells are a significant problem in the historic Appalachian region, where oil and gas were first discovered. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the IOGCC, the AAIBD works to upgrade the quality of oil and gas information and statistics for the Appalachian Basin (often inaccurately reported by industry publications), holds training sessions on Appalachian needs, and makes federal agencies aware of the research and technical needs of small operators and regulatory agencies in the basin. The Directors issued a report on the status of the Appalachian Basin and it is available on our site.
Groundwater Protection Council
The Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC) is a national non-profit organization composed of local, state and federal governments, citizen groups, industry, academic institutions and others working to promote protection of water resources. Issues of common interest to New York and the GWPC are regulation of underground injection for solution mining, brine disposal and enhanced recovery and data management related to wells used for these purposes. New York is a GWPC member; the division's Director, Bradley Field, is a member of GWPC's board of directors. Division staff attend GWPC meetings and forums to share technology, gather information and make presentations. The September 2008 Annual Forum included a report on hydraulic fracturing considerations in the Marcellus Shale.
Solution Mining Research Institute
The Solution Mining Research Institute (SMRI) is an international non-profit technical association which provides a forum for operators, researchers, suppliers, consultants, educators and government regulators to investigate and increase understanding of all aspects of solution mining and the underground storage of crude oil, natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in solution-mined caverns. The SMRI currently has approximately 150 members from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. The SMRI sponsors and funds research, holds two technical conferences per year, conducts training and educational classes, maintains a literature file and participates in the development of state regulations. Much of the research sponsored by the SMRI involves the efficient use of natural resources, environmentally sound mining practices and the safe use of underground salt caverns for hydrocarbon storage. New York State is currently a member of the SMRI as the organization's activities directly benefit regulatory oversight of solution salt mining and underground gas storage operations in the state.
Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee
The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Policy Committee provides policy advice from the coastal states, environmental groups, and industry representatives to the Secretary of the Interior for administering the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. The committee's work encompasses all aspects of the leasing, exploration, development, and protection of OCS resources. The US Department of the Interior, primarily through the Minerals Management Service, is responsible for offshore oil and gas leasing throughout the nation, including Alaska. The OCS Lands Act also governs the management of other continental shelf mineral resources, such as sand and gravel.
New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Advisory Board
Created by the Legislature in 1981, the NYS Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Advisory Board's function is to advise and assist the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies with development and implementation of policies related to regulating the oil, gas and solution mining industries. The Division of Mineral Resources provides coordination and secretarial services for the Board.