Siena Poll: NY divided on fracking DEC: No 'timetable' on decision

Feb 4, 2013

Anti-fracking activists line the steps along the Great Western Staircase at the NYS Capitol in Albany (Feb. 4, 2013)
Credit Dave Lucas (WAMC)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) —  A poll shows New York voters nearly evenly divided on  "fracking" the same day the state's top environmental official declared his agency has no "timetable" for finishing shale gas drilling rules.

Elected officials questioned Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens about the environmental review at a legislative budget hearing on Monday. He says he expects to get a report from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in "a few weeks."

Martens says there's no separate health study being reviewed by Shah and a panel of experts. He said they're reviewing DEC's entire environmental study, which he says runs "several thousand pages."

The agency has a Feb. 27 deadline to complete fracking regulations or let them expire.

A Siena Research Institute poll released Monday says voters statewide are split 40-40 percent when asked if the DEC should lift the 4 ½-year-old moratorium on fracking. The remaining 20 percent had no opinion. In the Southern Tier region where drilling would most likely start, the poll showed 48 percent opposed and 47 percent favored lifting the ban.

(c) 2012 Associated Press