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Cuomo announces delay with fracking decision

FINGER LAKES—Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the final state hydraulic fracturing regulations will be delayed beyond the Thursday, Nov. 29, deadline.
The announcement came during a press conference last Tuesday, Nov. 20. Cuomo had previously appointed three health officials in November to study the proposed fracking regulations. However, at the meeting Cuomo said the final regulations will not be ready until sometime in 2013.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) started reviewing public comments in 2012 with the expectation to finish by the end of this year. The DEC previously explained that once public input is reviewed and changes approved, the state would be able to start issuing permits.
Many local groups have called for a ban on fracking in either the Finger Lakes or the state as a whole. Several municipalities have also placed a moratorium on fracking so planning boards can review it and create laws to protect the towns.
The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York released an open letter to Cuomo, Nov. 20, to express “strong disappointment” in the announcement. The group added, “As you have said, reliable available science and studies should guide us in a straightforward simple review of health impacts related to the proposed safeguards defined by the DEC in its (state generic environmental impact statement). To extend the process beyond Nov. 29, 2012 is an insult to the tremendous efforts of your DEC experts, taxpayers and all of us who have strived diligently to contribute reliably to this over four year process.”
The group also said in its comments to the DEC, “we recommended that the NYSDEC petition the New York State Public Service Commission to allow pipelines to be installed so that natural gas completions at well sites could be conducted as reduced emission completions.” The coalition added the state should review existing studies concerning air pollution from natural gas.





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