It appears the state of New York plans to continue its moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for at least another year. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal does not contain any new funds to regulate the gas industry.
Joe Martens, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, said the state does not expect to issue permits to allow high-volume hydraulic fracturing during the coming fiscal year, which extends to March 2015.
“We have absolutely no plans to do so,” he said at an Assembly hearing on Wednesday.
Martens also said the state would not complete a supplemental generic environmental impact statement, a key step in the permitting process, until it reviews a health analysis by Health Commissioner Nirav Shah. Shah has repeatedly said he does not have a timetable for finishing that report, and has offered little insight into his process.
Martens later told reporters he believes it’s “extremely unlikely” the state would issue permits before 2015. New York’s moratorium has been in place since 2008. Over the years, the state has missed a series of self-imposed deadlines to finalize its environmental review of fracking.
Last year, Cuomo said he would make a decision on it before the 2014 election.