NY gas drilling draft rules expected in June

New York's new environmental chief says the state needs to proceed cautiously with high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in deep shale formations, but not wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to complete a review of the practice that could take two years.

At a legislative hearing Tuesday, acting Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said he expects the agency's updated regulations to be completed in June, the deadline set by former Gov. David Paterson.

Permits for gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region of southern New York have been on hold since 2008 when Paterson ordered the DEC to draft new guidelines to address concerns about hydraulic fracturing, which injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water underground to release natural gas.

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