State officials say drilling regulations delayed again

NORWICH – Recent comments from New York Governor David Paterson and the chief spokesman for the state’s environmental conservation department point to a further delay in the review process for permitting natural gas drilling into shale formations.

Speaking at an Earth Day event on Tuesday, Gov. Paterson said, “For us to be investing in any drilling of natural gas could only exist – and we have not made a final decision – if there is a finding that it’s safe and does not affect our environment, particularly the water that we drink.”

Paterson halted hyrofracking into shale formations in November 2008 until the completion of an environmental review and impact plan. After the public comment period on the proposed regulations ended last December, Department of Environmental Conservation officials indicated a March and, later, a June target date for issuing drilling permits.

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