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The Empire

Key agency delays hydrofracking regulations vote

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey are applauding the Delaware River Basin Commission's postponement of a meeting next week "to consider draft natural gas development regulations has been postponed to allow additional time for review by the five commission members," according to a statement by the agency. The draft hydrofracking regulations, which could have opened up further gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin, were scheduled to be voted on at the meeting.

Schneiderman had previously sent a letter to the agency opposing the draft regulations "lack the benefit of a full environmental impact study, which is required by law and dictated by common sense." He threatened to use "the full authority" of his office to stop the agency from moving forward. The AG had already filed a lawsuit, back in May, for what he said was its failure to commit to a full environmental review of the proposed regulations.

Today's postponement, he said, "further demonstrates that the proposed regulations for fracking in the Delaware River Basin are not ready to see the light of day."

"Without a full, fair and open review of the potential risks of fracking in the Basin, the public will continue to question the federal government’s ability to protect public health and environment," Schneiderman said.

Hinchey, who has also stated his previous opposition to the drilling process, said:

I am pleased that the Delaware River Basin Commission has followed through on my request to cancel a planned vote on the adoption of Natural Gas Development Regulations for the Delaware River Basin. The commission should not begin considering adoption of any final regulations until it conducts a comprehensive and cumulative environmental impact study. Without such a study, there is no guarantee that the DRBC's regulations would be sufficient to protect the Basin.

This post has been updated.