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Hydraulic fracturing report nearing completion

ALBANY – The state’s environmental conservation commissioner said today he is uncertain if he can meet the July 1 deadline ordered by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to issue a comprehensive report on hydraulic fracturing drilling for natural gas in New York state.

The much-awaited report will make recommendations whether the state should proceed with the controversial drilling process in the Marcellus Shale region of the state, according to Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens.

“We’re working on it, so stayed tuned. We’ll tell you later in the week whether we’re going to meet the deadline or not. We’re working on it very actively,’’ Martens said after emerging from a meeting at the Capitol between Cuomo and his cabinet members.

Martens said the report to be released will be a draft open for subsequent public comments. “Hopefully we can meet a Friday deadline,’’ Martens said.

The report, no matter what it says, is certain to provide a spark in the increasingly bitter debate between environmental and business interests – as well as private landowners sitting atop natural gas sites – over the fracking process, which involves large volumes of water, mixed with chemicals and other material, to break apart rock formations to extract the natural gas.

“I’m not promising,’’ Martens said of being able to meet the Friday deadline.

-- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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