State delays hydrofracking rules till late summer

A Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman says New York’s new rules for natural gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing have been pushed back to “late summer.”

A 60-day public comment period was supposed to start in early August for the latest draft of DEC’s review of gas exploration techniques used in the Marcellus Shale, a gas-rich formation underlying New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. Permitting has been on hold in New York since summer 2008 while the review is under way.

The latest delay is to allow DEC to incorporate the findings of a socioeconomic impact study done by Buffalo-based consultant Ecology and Environment.

DEC officials say permits for Marcellus wells won’t be issued until a final version of the review is complete, likely sometime next year.


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