Posted at: 02/05/2013 2:22 AM
By: Associated Press
The state's top environmental official says his agency has no "timetable" for finishing shale gas drilling rules, with the completion date dependent on recommendations made by the health commissioner.
Elected officials questioned Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens about the environmental review at a legislative budget hearing on Monday. He says he expects to get a report from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in "a few weeks."
Martens says there's no separate health study being reviewed by Shah and a panel of experts. He said they're reviewing DEC's entire environmental study, which he says runs "several thousand pages."
If regulations aren't finalized by Feb. 27, they'll expire and will have to be put out for public comment again. That would likely extend a 4½-year drilling moratorium by months.