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.
A document from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration assessing the health impacts of hydrofracking, written less than a year ago, says the gas drilling process is likely safe if proper precautions are taken by the governor’s environmental agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
A legal expert says that the Cuomo administration’s move to delay for another 90 days the decision on whether to allow hydrofracking in New York makes sense. Meanwhile, some health care professionals say a review underway on the health effects of fracking is a sham.
The state’s environmental agency confirms it will miss a key deadline and delay approval of hydrofracking in New York once again. Anti-fracking forces see an opportunity in the new delay, while those waiting to benefit economically from the gas drilling process are feeling frustrated.
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.
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.
A toxic waste site in Watertown is drawing renewed attention from residents and city leaders. New York Air Brake's chemical dump on the north side of town was cleaned up in the 1990s. State environmental officials say it's been monitored since then and they're convinced it's safe for neighbors and wildlife. But people who live nearby believe they have health problems traceable to the site. And they fear it still poses a health risk.
This summer, the synthetic drugs known as bath salts alarmed emergency responders all over upstate New York, including in Jefferson County. In Watertown, they dealt with unstable, violent users several times a day. But lawmakers and law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels have been responding with crackdowns on the drugs. Now, both police and hospital officials in Watertown say cases are down sharply.
The New York State Department of Health regulations outlawing bath salts in New York state come on the heels of several local laws banning the designer drug. The new regulations were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, but there could be more laws coming down the road.