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.
ALBANY — New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah broke his silence on the state’s review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, telling a panel of lawmakers Wednesday he anticipates completing the analysis in “the next few weeks.”
During a legislative budget hearing on public health and Medicaid spending, state lawmakers pressed Shah for details on when the department’s findings would be public.
JOHNSON CITY — After more than four years of watching lawmakers and regulators progress toward a decision on whether to permit hydraulic fracturing in New York, area leaders on both sides of the debate are bracing for the endgame that many expect will unfold in 2013.
During a two-hour panel discussion Thursday morning, four experts on the controversial natural gas drilling technique, commonly known as hydrofracking, explained that important deadlines are looming in coming weeks and should provide a much clearer picture on the industry’s fate in New York.
By late February, the state Department of Environmental Conservation will likely clear some of the final hurdles left before completing its environmental review of hydrofracking, which started in 2008.
The New York State Attorney General’s Office has launched an ethics inquiry concerning votes by Southern Tier town board members related to natural gas drilling, according to documents obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin.
In single-page letters sent in October, Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin indicated that drilling-related action by town boards earlier in the year raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.
3-year effort linked to CU’s cooling plant aims to limit impact of phosphorous on water
ITHACA — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell University announced a joint effort Friday they say will limit the impact of nutrient phosphorous in Cayuga Lake, although a local environmental firm questions the project.