ALBANY (AP) — State environmental officials are expected to report this week on potential drilling for natural gas with hydraulic fracturing, an issue that has pitted environmental groups against energy companies in a debate over profits and threats to drinking water.
The Department of Environmental Conservation report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo is due today, the same day an executive order prohibiting “hydrofracking” expires. That order was issued last year by then-Gov. David Paterson to allow more time to review the technology, which involves blasting millions of gallons of chemical-laced water thousands of feet underground to crack rock and release trapped natural gas trapped.
The DEC’s supplemental environmental study and revised draft recommendations will be subject to further public comment and revisions, a process likely to take months.
The agency has emphasized that it will not issue drilling permits before that.