Will the DEC report appease anyone?

A 900-page revised report Friday detailing New York's plan to deal with the impacts of hydraulic fracturing seeks to thread the needle among emotionally charged advocates for gas companies, property owners and the environment.

The report will become the backbone of any future decision to let the much-debated natural gas exploration technique go forward. And it will be the latest test of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ability to navigate a thorny issue as he seeks to balance the need for economic development upstate and the preservation of the environment.

While the state remains at least several months away from being in a position to issue permits for high-volume fracking in the Marcellus Shale formation, Friday's unveiling was a major step toward that day.

For the first time, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens — a former open-space advocate appointed by Cuomo earlier this year — said he's convinced fracking can be done safely, as long as the right safeguards are in place.

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