Both Sides of Fracking Issue React To DEC Announcements
New delays mean hydrofracking in New York probably won’t begin until at least next year... if it begins at all. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports those on both sides of the issue are anxious for more details...
Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said Sunday that the agency expects to miss a Nov. 29 deadline for finalizing regulations, making it necessary to reopen the process with at least one public hearing. This announcement came on the heels of another by DEC Commissioner Joe Martens who said that no final decision on whether to allow shale development would be made until a health impact review is completed.
While thousands of shale wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania, opposition has been intense in New York.
The DEC announcements have fracking opponents and proponents talking about the so-called "re-start" of the rule making process.
The DEC has to date received in the neighborhood of 80-thousand public comments about fracking. Gas companies are anxious to tap into New York's piece of the natural gas field known as the Marcellus Shale. Jim Smith with the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York says his members grow more frustrated with each passing day.
Katharine Nadeau with Environmental Advocates of New York is all-for "moving slowly" - she points to new evidence linking fracking to people's health. Nadeau says that compunding the problem, is that most New Yorkers are "in the dark as to what happens next."
Governor Andrew Cuomo says the new announcements come in reaction to requests by environmentalists, who had called for an outside survey. And Cuomo believes his agencies can do a better job by providing New Yorkers with what he calls “... a stronger review to withstand a legal challenge.”