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DEC needs staff to deal with gas rush
|More regulators will likely be needed to oversee a tidal surge of drilling activity and related environmental issues expected to accompany the development of the Marcellus Shale, according to state officials. Where they will come from, however, remains a mystery.|
While the state has a freeze on hiring as it deals with a budget shortfall, energy companies are actively recruiting workers with regulatory backgrounds to help negotiate the permitting process. The competition for workers on one side of the regulatory fence with a hiring freeze on the other complicates an already complicated picture.
Judith Enck, Gov. David Paterson's top environmental adviser, said last week the state would either find a way to staff the Department of Environmental Conservation to handle the expected rush of drilling permits and a comprehensive review of the impacts from drilling, or the process will simply take longer.
"We are looking at various options," said Enck, declining to be more specific. "We understand the concern about staffing."
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