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Five years later, fracking pause still in place



ALBANY — After five years, hundreds of thousands of public comments and an electorate that remains split on the divisive issue, what has amounted to a moratorium on shale-gas drilling in New York remains in place.

Callicoon adopts frack-friendly comp plan; Move to form committee abandoned

The River Reporter
By Fritz Mayer

May 15, 2013 —
After promising to appoint a committee to examine the issue of fracking in the proposed town comprehensive plan, the board did an about-face and adopted the plan at the town meeting on May 13.

At the March meeting, supervisor Tom Bose said a panel with five to eight members would be appointed to study whether the language that many believed invited gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing into the town was necessary or should have been removed.

N.Y. will make fracking health call 'in weeks'

The Associated Press

Albany — New York’s health commissioner said Monday he never intended to wait for completion of any of the pending gas drilling studies, which could take years, and instead plans a recommendation to the governor “in weeks” on whether the state should approve hydraulic fracturing.

Health Commissioner Nirav Shah also said he met with researchers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania within the past two weeks.

Libous vows to block vote on fracking moratorium

ALBANY — A top Senate Republican on Thursday said he will fight to keep a potential moratorium on hydraulic fracturing from getting a vote in the state Senate.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, said his goal is to “make sure no (moratorium) bill passes the Senate.”

Libous, a staunch fracking supporter whose district sits within the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation, said he doesn’t want to see the issue on the Senate floor for a vote.

“I’m going to try to make sure that it doesn’t,” he said Thursday. “I feel that strongly on that issue.”

Lawmakers press health chief for fracking details

ALBANY — New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah broke his silence on the state’s review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, telling a panel of lawmakers Wednesday he anticipates completing the analysis in “the next few weeks.”

During a legislative budget hearing on public health and Medicaid spending, state lawmakers pressed Shah for details on when the department’s findings would be public.

DEC's actual fracking decision deadline could be Feb. 13

ALBANY — New York regulators may have to signal a decision on hydraulic fracturing by Feb. 13 if they hope to meet an end-of-the-month deadline for finalizing a set of proposed regulations.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation faces a Feb. 27 deadline to either finalize the planned hydrofracking rules or allow them to expire.

Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York

ALBANY — The state’s Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that the much-debated drilling technology known as hydrofracking could be conducted safely in New York, according to a copy obtained by The New York Times from an expert who did not believe it should be kept secret.

AG inquires about conflicts on fracking votes in Southern Tier

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has launched an ethics inquiry concerning votes by Southern Tier town board members related to natural gas drilling, according to documents obtained by the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

In single-page letters sent in October, Assistant Attorney General Judith Malkin indicated that drilling-related action by town boards earlier in the year raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.

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