DEC Commissioner: No Decision Yet On Hydrofracking

Joseph Martens, the commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, took a measured approach this morning when it comes to whether the state would proceed with hydrofracking.

He said the state is still going through more than 60,000 comments it has received on its preliminary environmental report and it would take “months, not years” to go through them.

Gannett’s Albany Bureau wrote last week about how the comment review has been slowed by the development of “scanning shoulder” by the workers charged with recording the thousands of documents.

Martens also wouldn’t commit, when asked by lawmakers, if and when hydrofracking would commence.

“I don’t want to be presumptuous that hydrofracking is going forward or not,” Martens said.

He said there is no money for hydrofracking in this year’s budget because it hasn’t been determined when it would proceed. But if it does, he said the DEC would need 140 new positions and more than 200 positions by year five.


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