Occupational Health & Safety

NY Officials File Extension on Fracking Decision

New York officials need more time to put the final touches on a nearly completed study of hydraulic fracturing's effects.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced it will seek a 90-day extension to wrap up the final touches on its plans for addressing hydraulic fracturing. A year after the last public hearing on the topic, the department was supposed to have finished outlining the next steps to be taken if the natural gas drilling process is to be allowed in the state, or to file an extension.

The extension may mean the state will not have finalized regulations for six more months. In 2008, the DEC began to study the impact of fracking on the environment. The beginning of the study also marked a beginning to a moratorium on harvesting shale gas through this method.

This week, a group in opposition to hydraulic fracturing in the state, Concerned Health Professionals of New York, launched a website to educate people interested in the issue about what the group contends are negative effects the process can have on the environment.

Included in the 90-day extension is a 30-day period in which members of the public are encouraged to submit comments.

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