| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Nov 29 New York Governor Andrew
Cuomo's administration will delay a decision on whether to
overturn a four-year-old ban on a contentious oil and gas
drilling process after a state agency received more time to
draft proposed regulations on fracking.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation, or
DEC, which oversees the state's oil and gas industry, filed a
notice with New York's Department of State for a 90-day
extension to its original deadline of Thursday. The move by the
agency, part of Cuomo's administration, came after it grew
clear a study on the health effects of hydraulic fracturing, or
fracking, would not be completed in time, a DEC spokeswoman
In 2008, New York state banned high-volume fracking pending
an analysis of the potential environmental impact of the process
and the DEC's issuance of new rules for drillers in the state.
The state had seemed on the verge of lifting the ban in some
places earlier this year, but bowing to pressure from
environmentalists and townships across New York, the Cuomo
administration commissioned an additional study of the effects
of fracking on public health, according to the New York Times.
"Let the science dictate the conclusion," Cuomo told
reporters in August, adding, "We will make a decision based on
Cuomo's office did not immediately return requests for
The latest development came two weeks after the DEC was
named in a lawsuit challenging municipal prohibition on fracking
for the first time. Lenape Resources Inc sued both the DEC and
the town of Avon in western New York over a July moratorium that
prevented new wells from being drilled.
The DEC has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the oil and
gas industry under a 1981 law, according to a complaint Lenape
filed in Livingston County court.
Avon Town Supervisor David LeFeber declined to comment
through his secretary. The DEC will let the issue progress
through the courts, a department spokeswoman said in an email.