What Did Martens Mean – Issuing NY Permits Ahead of New Rules?

Last week New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens dropped a bombshell. He said even if new fracking rules are not officially adopted, he has the power to move forward with issuing permits for horizontal shale drilling/fracking (see Deadline for NY Fracking Regs Slips Again…Or Does It?). Was Martens being truthful? Is he mistaken? Or is he simply trying to get landowners to hold off on filing a lawsuit for “takings” that, if successful, might bankrupt the state over their illegal actions? Martens’ comments from last week are an ongoing source of debate and speculation. What, exactly, did he mean? Can he really do that?

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