NY Agency Puts Brakes on Fracking

The state's environmental agency has put the brakes on the process to approve the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking on some private lands in New York because a key advisory panel will not make the November 1 deadline to issue a report.

The advisory committee is made up of industry, environmental and community representatives. The report will not be issued in time because data on costs from fracking to state agencies such as the departments of health and transportation are not yet ready, according to Joe Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Martens said the panel will meet through January 2012 to try to issue a report that also combines costs to local governments, as well as state costs.

“We hope they will have sometime next year," Martens said. "There’s no firm timetable."

Martens said the data on the potential costs of fracking to the state is unlikely to be ready in time for the governor’s budget proposal in January.