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Jon Campbell

DEC chief: 'Absolutely no plans' to issue fracking permits during fiscal year

ALBANY — New York’s long-awaited decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale likely won’t come before April 2015, the state’s top environmental regulator said Monday.

Joseph Martens, the state environmental conservation commissioner, told reporters that it’s “extremely unlikely” any permits for high-volume fracking will be issued before the close of the state’s next fiscal year, which runs through March 31, 2015.

Health Dept.: Transparency to come when fracking review ends

ALBANY – New York’s health review of hydraulic fracturing will continue behind closed doors because science needs to be conducted in a “sacred place,” the state’s top health official said Monday.

State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah told reporters Monday that the science surrounding high-volume fracking continues to “evolve” and that scientific work must be conducted in private to maintain objectivity.

Cuomo on fracking review: "I think we're doing a good job on it"


Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he's comfortable with the state's review of hydraulic fracturing, telling reporters in Utica that his administration is "doing the best we can to understand all the facts."

Fracking panel member wants stronger NY health review

A Southern Tier assemblywoman is asking the state to put an immediate pause on the Health Department’s review of hydraulic fracturing, instead calling for a more-comprehensive analysis that is “transparent and thorough.”

In a letter this week to state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County, knocked the state’s current review of fracking’s health impacts.

Fracking panel member wants NY health review put on hold

A Southern Tier assemblywoman is asking the state to put an immediate pause on the Health Department's review of hydraulic fracturing, instead calling for a more-comprehensive analysis that is "transparent and thorough."

In a letter Wednesday to state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, D-Endwell, Broome County, knocked the state's current review of fracking's health impacts.

Obama heads to center of NY fracking debate

Walter Hang, the owner of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting and a well-known organizer in the Southern Tier, said he's focusing his efforts on the Binghamton University stop.

In an email Monday to thousands of fracking critics, Hang said the Obama visit will "dwarf all others in importance."

"We're working with as many groups as we possibly can to make this a national event on shale fracking," Hang said. "We're going to be putting out the call to action to groups in Pennsylvania and Ohio and all over New York."

Five years later, fracking pause still in place

ALBANY — After five years, hundreds of thousands of public comments and an electorate that remains split on the divisive issue, what has amounted to a moratorium on shale-gas drilling in New York remains in place.

Tuesday marked the five-year anniversary of the state’s official move to put large-scale hydrofracking permit applications on hold, a period of time opponents of the technique say speaks to their strength and advocates say points to a display of political indecision.

Fracking roundup: Anti-frackers push Martens on health review; Pro-frackers tout Ed Rendell’s op-ed

– A group of fracking critics in the Southern Tier are trying to make sure Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens is living up to his promises when it comes to an ongoing health review of fracking.

Libous vows to block vote on fracking moratorium

ALBANY — A top Senate Republican on Thursday said he will fight to keep a potential moratorium on hydraulic fracturing from getting a vote in the state Senate.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said his goal is to “make sure no (moratorium) bill passes the Senate.”

Libous, a staunch fracking supporter whose district sits within the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation, said he doesn’t want to see the issue on the Senate floor for a vote.

“I’m going to try to make sure that it doesn’t,” he said Thursday. “I feel that strongly on that issue.”

Cuomo on fracking: Decision too important to rush

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday pushed back against the suggestion his administration is playing politics in further delaying a decision on hydraulic fracturing, saying the issue is “too important to make a mistake.”

Cuomo’s administration this week said it would not meet a Feb. 27 deadline to finalize a set of long-awaited regulations for high-volume fracking, the method used to extract natural gas from shale formations. In a letter Tuesday, Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said he needs a “few weeks” to complete a review of fracking’s impacts on human health — a study he launched in September.

Speaking in Queens on Wednesday, Cuomo told reporters he wouldn’t rush Shah to meet an “arbitrary” deadline.

“I don’t think that’s prudent and I don’t think that’s right and I won’t do it,” said Cuomo, who reiterated his call for a decision based on “facts and information” and not “emotion”.

The delay sparked a renewed round of criticism from gas-drilling supporters, who have expressed continued frustration with the state’s indecisiveness on whether to open the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation to drilling.

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