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The state Department of Environmental Conservation has extended by a month the public comment period on new regulations for natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of southern New York.
Environmental groups, residents and politicians had criticized the agency for initially setting a 60-day comment period, saying that wasn’t long enough for people to thoroughly evaluate the 804-page document.
Rep. Eric Massa, R-Corning, was among those petitioning for the extension. He sent a letter to Gov, David Paterson requesting an additional 60 days for review. The proposed drilling project “is a significant issue facing our region and the families of my Congressional District have asked to have the public comment period extended,” said Massa, whose district includes most of Ontario County.
On Wednesday, the DEC extended the end of the comment period from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31. The Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement addresses potential effects of shale gas development and outlines required safety measures.