ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — It's "extremely unlikely" that permits for shale gas drilling and fracking will be issued by New York regulators before 2015, state Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said Wednesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $137.2 billion budget for the fiscal year ending in March 2015 allocates no money for regulating high volume hydraulic fracturing, Martens told a legislative panel.
"None whatsoever," he said.
Fracking has been on hold in New York since an environmental review was launched in 2008. After the hearing, Martens repeated previous statements that there is no timetable for the review to be finalized and he is waiting for an analysis by Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah.
"I would say it's a good indication, because there's no funds in the proposed executive budget for '14-15, that we will not be issuing permits in the fiscal year," Martens told reporters outside the hearing room. "It's extremely unlikely. We have no plans to."
New York has had permitting on hold since 2008 when regulators began an environmental review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which releases gas from deep shale deposits by injecting a well with millions of gallons of water mixed with sand and chemicals.