Joe Martens

Marie Cusick / Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will prohibit hydrofracking in New York state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said at a cabinet meeting this morning that he was recommending a ban. Cuomo had repeatedly said he would defer to Martens and acting health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in making the decision.

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is demanding the release of the state’s environmental impact study on hydraulic fracturing, and are threatening to take legal action if the state doesn’t release the report.

The letter stated the Department of Environmental Conservation has until Feb. 13 to release the report, known as the SGEIS. The state has had a de facto moratorium on hydrofacking for almost six years now.

Dan Fitzsimmons is president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York and says landowners have been waiting too long for the report.

Karen Dewitt / WXXI

One day after President Barack Obama touted hydrofracking of natural gas as a bridge fuel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner says it’s extremely unlikely that permits for drilling wells will be issued in the next year.

Cuomo’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens testified at a legislative budget hearing. The state has had a de facto moratorium on hydrofracking for nearly six years.

The leaders of the environmental committee in the New York state legislature have proposed a $5 billion environmental bond act, to be voted on in November 2014. But at an Assembly hearing on the state’s environmental budget, advocates say a bigger concern is dwindling staff at the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Assembly Environmental Committee Chair Robert Sweeney is sponsoring a bill to create a $5 billion environmental bond act to promote clean water, clean air and to preserve public land.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner is expected to release a health report on hydraulic fracturing soon, at least according to a timetable announced in late February. But the Cuomo administration has already missed several deadlines on fracking.

Marie Cusick/Innovation Trail

On Tuesday, New York state officials announced another delay of their final decision on hydrofracking. The Department of Environmental Conservation will wait for a report on the health protections in its environmental review of fracking. Then the environmental review can be completed. The delay could be less than a month or it could be much longer. But one thing is clear - the delayed health review is now the key factor in deciding whether or not fracking will go ahead in New York.

A February deadline on New York’s process to allow hydrofracking will be missed, with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Health Commissioner now saying he needs more time to complete an on-going health study.

DEC may miss deadline for fracking regulations

Feb 4, 2013
Matt Ryan/WMHT

New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens suggested Monday that the state may miss a February 27 deadline to complete its proposed fracking regulations. And that could stall a decision on gas drilling for months.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

For those on the pro-fracking side, the newest regulations are both a good sign and a troubling one. On the one hand, they're a light at the end of the tunnel, proof that permits for hydrofracking aren’t far off. But, on the other hand, fracking supporters say that the Department of Environmental Conservation has only answered the concerns of the anti-fracking lobby.

Hydrofracking could once again be delayed in New York, unless the state Health Commissioner is able to complete requirements to contract with outside health experts and conduct a health review by November 29.

New York state’s environmental commissioner for the first time commented in-depth about a new health review that has once again delayed a decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in the state. But Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says there are still some unanswered questions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he supports his administration’s internal health review on hydrofracking in New York, and he says it could even hasten the gas drilling process in the state, should fracking ultimately be approved.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner announcement that he is rejecting calls for an independent health analysis of hydrofracking has left more questions than answers. Commissioner Joe Martens says he will conduct an internal health review instead.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental commissioner is rejecting calls by environmentalists for an independent health impact study on hydrofracking. But  Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens, says the state’s health commissioner has agreed to conduct a review.

The state’s Environmental Commissioner said last week that the process to permit hydrofracking on some private lands in New York State may take longer than expected, and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens even cast doubt on  whether permits would be issued in 2012 at all. Governor Cuomo says he’s willing to wait, if it leads to a rational decision making process on what’s become a highly emotional issue.

The state’s environmental agency says  a key advisory panel will not be issuing a report on the impacts of hydrofracking by a November 1 deadline, delaying part of the process of allowing the natural gas drilling on some private lands in New York until early next year.

The State’s Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens, says the report from the advisory committee, will be not be issued next month as originally planned, partly  because data on costs of fracking  to other state agencies, including  the departments of health and transportation, aren’t ready yet.