NY Draft Marcellus Drilling Regulations Won’t Be Ready by July 1st Deadline

Gomer PyleIn the unforgettable words of Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise! Actually, this one was not so hard to predict. The New York State Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Joe Martens, is signaling that the new draft regulations for Marcellus Shale drilling won’t be ready by Gov. Cuomo’s deadline of this Friday, July 1.

The state’s latest draft of its ongoing review of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas might not be completed by Friday’s deadline, New York’s top environmental regulator said Monday.

The Department of Environmental Conservation had been ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to finish a revised draft of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement, as it’s called, by July 1. But while speaking with reporters after a meeting of Cuomo’s cabinet, DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said his office might not be finished by then.

"We’re still working on it, so stay tuned," Martens said. "We’ll tell you later in the week whether we’re going to make the deadline or not."

Martens left open the possibility of releasing a portion of the draft report on Friday. He said the DEC has been working "full time" on the review, which didn’t have a firm deadline placed on it until Cuomo’s office issued a directive last month.

"We’ll see again what we get out Friday versus days after Friday," Martens said. "We’re in the production process right now."*

*Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin (Jun 28, 2011) – DEC might not meet Friday deadline for fracking review