An apparent slowdown in a state hydraulic fracturing committee's work can be partially attributed to this: The panelists have plenty of unanswered questions.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens announced Tuesday the 18-member panel tasked with creating a new fee structure for gas drillers wouldn't be ready to release its recommendations until sometime next year.

An initial set of state-level proposals had originally been expected next month so it could be included in the state budget process that starts in January, but Martens said the panel would be given "all the time it needs."

The move was welcomed by most of the panel, in part because they're still looking for critical information about what kind of resources state agencies will need to properly oversee the gas industry if high-volume hydrofracking is green-lighted in New York.

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