NY drilling regs may take all summer

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – The new head of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation believes that gas drilling in the massive Marcellus Shale formation is the most daunting environmental issue the agency has faced in its 40-year history, and he’s hopeful rules will soon be in place to address the potential impact.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, Joe Martens said DEC staff will meet twice each week starting in early April and through the summer to complete a new environmental impact statement for gas drilling that addresses issues raised in the 13,000 comments received on the 809-page first draft completed in September 2009.

New York has had a moratorium on gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale since 2008 while the new rules are being developed for high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into shale thousands of feet underground to create cracks that release natural gas.

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