Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said the state “will have to” file for an extension on a fast-approaching deadline on its proposed hydrofracking rules, which would mean the Department of Environmental Conservation will soon have to issue an updated set of proposals.
Cuomo unveiled last week that the state would likely miss a key Nov. 29 deadline in its ongoing review of large-scale fracking, giving the DEC two choices: Receive a 90-day deadline extension by issuing a revised set of rules and opening them to public comment for 30 days; or restart the entire rule-making process, which would require a longer comment period and likely at least one public hearing.
Speaking to reporters after touring economic-development sites in Rochester, here’s what Cuomo had to say on hydrofracking:
Reporter: “Governor, just very quickly on the fracking issue: Are you going to apply for an extension on the 29th?”
Cuomo: “We are not going to be able to — the state won’t finish the review by the 29th.”
Reporter: “Will you apply for an extension by that deadline?”
Cuomo: “They will have to.”
The DEC has ignored repeated inquiries over the past two weeks about the deadline, including whether the agency is preparing an updated set of proposals to submit to public comment. The agency has been reviewing large-scale fracking since 2008 and first proposed formal regulations in September of last year.
UPDATED: DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis just checked in with this statement: “DEC will file a notice for a 90-day extension allowed by state law to continue to work as (Health Commissioner Nirav Shah’s) health review of the SGEIS comes to completion.”