Fracking in NY Delayed at Least Another Year

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One day after President Obama used his State of the Union address to advocate for the drilling of natural gas, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner said fracking will be delayed for another year.

New York has essentially had a moratorium on hydrofracking for nearly six years. Joe Martens, a commissioner with New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation says there will be no drilling in the new fiscal year, which through March 31, 2015.

“It's extremely unlikely. We have no plans to,” Martens said.

If New York were to begin drilling, then money would be needed in the new state budget to pay for additional staff to issue permits. Governor Cuomo, in his spending plan proposal, is not asking for that.

But even before permits could be issued, the DEC would have to complete an environmental impact statement. That review has been held up since September 2012, when Commissioner Martens announced that Cuomo’s health commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah, would conduct a health study. And Martens says there's no timetable for that.