NY Gov: Fracking regs likely delayed into 2013

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012
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Goldman said Tuesday she hadn't seen the state's health impact assessment yet and didn't know how extensive it was. But she said she planned to have her review completed by the end of next week because of her schedule of other commitments. Goldman said her contract with the state set a deadline of Feb. 12, but she had been told in an email that officials wanted the review done by Dec. 3.

"Generally, I'm applauding them for making the effort," Goldman said of New York's health study. "I hope the outcome of our doing this review helps the state make a wise decision."

Industry groups have criticized the choice of health experts to review the state study, saying they're biased against the industry.

"Each of these experts has shown a troubling willingness to speak publicly about supposed dangers and risks of hydraulic fracturing," said Lee Fuller, executive director of the industry group Energy In Depth. "While voicing concerns is an understandable and at times necessary function of scientific progress, these experts have chosen to make statements that contradict well established scientific conclusions about both hydraulic fracturing and shale development."

John Krohn, a spokesman for Energy In Depth, said that while it's disappointing to learn of the latest delay, Cuomo's decision not to rush the health review will give the natural gas industry time to make recommendations so the review panel "can have an increased diversity of opinion."

Environmental and health groups have praised the choice of panelists and were cheered at word of the latest delay in a final decision on whether fracking will be allowed in New York.

"We are glad the Governor wants to 'do this right,'" said Sandra Steingraber, a representative from the anti-fracking coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking. "We are confident that a thorough, independent review of the health impacts of fracking will show it can't be done safely."

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Associated Press reporter Ula Ilnytzky in New York City contributed to this report.