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Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program (GEIS)

On March 14, 2023, DEC released a Supplemental Findings Statement (PDF) (109 KB) specific to the plugging and abandonment of wells regulated under Article 23 of the Environmental Conservation Law. As explained in the Supplemental Findings, DEC has determined that routine well plugging and abandonment activities do not have a significant negative environmental impact.

The 1992 Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, or GEIS, was prepared to review in a comprehensive manner the Department of Environmental Conservation's program for regulating oil, gas, underground gas storage and solution mining wells of any depth, and brine disposal, stratigraphic and geothermal wells deeper than 500 feet. The GEIS was prepared according to the State's Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, requiring government agencies to analyze the environmental, social and economic impacts of their actions.

During 2008 there was an increased interest in the issuance of permits for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing to develop the Marcellus Shale and other low-permeability gas reservoirs. The Department commenced the development of a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), which was finalized in 2015.

Although the 1992 GEIS was prepared to fulfill the requirements of SEQRA, the Division of Mineral Resources expanded the document to serve as an educational resource. Subjects covered by the 1992 GEIS, in addition to regulatory and technical topics, include:

  • History of oil, gas and solution salt production in New York State
  • New York State geology and its relationship to oil, gas and salt production
  • Environmental resources
  • Drilling and production methods
  • Economics of mineral extraction

The original 1992 GEIS is presented below as a series of PDF documents. The entire GEIS document (PDF) (28 MB), including the associated findings statements, is also available as a single PDF file which can be downloaded and searched.

Note: Some of these are large documents. Only print if you really need to, and only those sections that you need. Double side all printing and copying jobs. For every ton of office paper use avoided, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by more than 8 metric tons.

SEQR Findings

Original Findings Statement (PDF) (297 KB)

Supplemental Findings Statement (PDF) (45 KB)

Supplemental Findings Statement - Well Plugging (PDF) (109 KB)

Final GEIS

The Final GEIS, released in 1992, refers to and incorporates the 3 volumes of the Draft GEIS, which were released in 1988 and appear below.

Draft GEIS

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