Fracking likely a year away according to DEC

Syracuse, NY – Horizontal hydrofracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique is still a long ways off in New York's Marcellus Shale.

When Governor Paterson put a moratorium on fracking in the Marcellus Shale until July 1, some thought that meant hydrofracking was just around the corner. But the Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, is still writing the guidelines to that will manage drilling.

And DEC spokesman Michael Bopp points out until those guidelines are in place, drilling can't begin per the moratorium put in place by Governor Paterson.

"The moratorium is in place until the plan is finalized. We have said it won t be final until much later than [July 1]," Bopp says.

The DEC will be taking public comments on the permitting process this summer. Still ahead: another rewrite and training for DEC staff before the department begins to grant companies the right to frack.

"Maybe a year or more out before anything could possibly occur," according to Bopp.

But just in case things move quicker, New York State's Assembly has taken up another moratorium bill. It would put a hold on fracking for another year.