NY Budget Hearing Draws Fracking Opponents as Feb. Deadline Approaches

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens met with state lawmakers for a budget hearing, which turned into a three-hour hydraulic fracturing discussion. The commissioner suggested Monday that the state may miss a Feb. 27 deadline to complete its proposed fracking regulations, further delaying the four-year review process.

If the Health Department recommends significant changes, the DEC process will be delayed by months. And if not finalized by the February deadline, DEC's proposed rules expire and would have to be reissued and subjected to another round of public comment.

At the hearing, Martens told legislators that there isn't a timetable for the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement's (SGEIS) environmental review of fracking, reported the Albany Times Union. Martens said that DEC is still waiting for the Department of Health to finalize its public health review.

"Everybody was under the understanding that the SGEIS would be done in February. So are you saying that is not happening?" Senator Tony Avella (Queens Democrat) asked Martens at the hearing.

"I have to wait until I get the health report until we make any decisions about whether we move forward or not," Martens replied.

The room that housed the hearing was filled with fracking opponents holding signs and openly commenting to Martens testimony, as well as politicians that have long opposed the procedure.

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, from Ithaca, stated, "people are extremely unsusceptible, to say the least, about the ability of New York state or any other state … that this industry can be adequately regulated … It is in fact dirty – it isn't a clean fuel. New York shouldn't be another guinea pig."


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John Webb | Feb. 6, 2013
Hilarious. I hope the whackos keep it up in NY; we will then continue to get the lions share of this wonderful progress and economic development here in Ohio. The baseless hysteria on the left surrounding fracking is quite revealing. We have been fracking for over 50 years; 1.5 million wells, all without incident. At what point, if ever, does a rational, cogent thought ever enter the mind of a liberal radical? I believe they would rather have us starve to death in the cold and dark, than make use of the God-gifted resources right beneath our feet.

robert green | Feb. 5, 2013
New York is hardly a "guinea pig" for the hydraulic fracturing process. Many other states have reviewed the process and put stiff penalties in place for groundwater infiltration. But science doesnt matter when you have soap operas commanding the hearts and minds of the ignorant.

Mark Coyle | Feb. 5, 2013
Just about every other state allows fracking without major environmental and health issues PA, WV, etc., are neighboring states that allow it, and they are NOT complaining. New York is shooting itself in the foot by not allowing it. The Billions of dollars of tax revenue it would generate, surely wouldnt hurt the state and local budgets, as well as the entire economy.


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