On February 13th the Cuomo Administration let a deadline elapse without issuing regulations to govern high volume fracking. In practical terms, that means the DEC will have to scrap the work it’s done so far and restart the process. The state is now months, if not years, away from having fracking regs on the books.

The stated reason for failing to meet the legal deadline was the inability of the state Department of Health to complete its review of fracking safety. The real reason may have been to avoid a scandal. Just one day earlier an outside health expert who had been brought in to review New York’s work had called for an in depth, national study of the impact of fracking on public health. To many, this was seen as a stern rebuke of the Cuomo Administration which has stubbornly refused to order a health impact assessment of fracking.

With no regulations in place, it would be reasonable to assume that high volume fracking is on hold in New York for the foreseeable future. But that’s not the way things work in Cuomo’s Albany. As soon as the regulations deadline passed, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens was telling reporters, “This does not mean that the issuance of permits for high-volume hydraulic fracturing would be delayed.” Martens went on to say “DEC can accept and process high-volume hydraulic fracturing permit applications 10 days after issuance of the SGEIS. The regulations simply codify the program requirements.”

Tell Governor Cuomo


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