joe martens

4:38pm

Fri December 2, 2011
Hydrofracking

DEC fracking report may come as soon as spring 2012

New York’s top environmental regulator, Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens, says his agency will likely finish its review of hydrofracking late next spring.

That means drilling permits for fracking could quickly follow.

That’s a faster timeline than expected. DEC officials had previously been much less specific, saying their report will probably be finished “sometime next year.”

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3:14pm

Mon November 14, 2011
Energy

What's at stake in this week's fracking hearings

Public hearings on natural gas-related issues, like this one in September in Watkins Glen, New York, tend to draw large crowds whenever they happen.
Matt Richmond WSKG

New Yorkers have watched closely as fracking unfolded in Pennsylvania. Some are wary that environmental abuses could happen here - while others are eager for the economic boom drilling could bring.

Now both sides will get a chance to weigh in during public hearings coming up this week.

The hearings are the first set in the final run-up to horizontal hydrofracking being permitted in New York State.  The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be taking comments on November 16 from 1 to 4 p.m., and then 6 to 9 p.m., in the Dansville Middle School Auditorium, in Dansville, N.Y.  On November 17, the DEC will be at the Forum Theatre in Binghamton, from 1 to 4 p.m., and 6 to 9 p.m.  

Two more hearings in New York City and Loch Sheldrake are scheduled for the end of the month. Details on how to testify are here. Comments can also be submitted electronically.

At each of the hearings, anti-fracking groups are planning rallies outside. The Washington-based environmental group Food and Water Watch is apparently recruiting for its anti-fracking activities among protesters at Zuccotti Park.

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11:15am

Mon November 14, 2011
New York NOW

Submit your fracking questions to New York NOW

Write to us to share your questions about fracking for DEC commissioner Joe Martens - you might hear the answer on New York NOW.
Alexander Savin via Flickr

States around the country are joining the rush to drill for natural gas, but New York is still deciding when and how it will allow hydrofracking, a controversial drilling technique that pumps water, sand, and chemicals into the ground to release natural gas.

New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is at the center of a fierce public debate as it works on writing the rules and regulations that will govern the drilling industry.

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11:39am

Thu November 10, 2011
Marcellus Shale

New York will vote "no" on interstate fracking rules

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens told reporters on Wednesday that New York State opposes the Delaware River Basin Commission's proposed fracking regulations.
Marie Cusick WMHT

Earlier this week, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) released an updated version of its fracking regulations for its watershed. 

The commission oversees an area that covers four states - New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware - and provides water to more than 15 million Americans, including New York City.

But a top official in one of those states says he won't play ball on the draft regulations.

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12:45pm

Fri October 14, 2011
Marcellus Shale

Fracking meeting canceled because agencies "not prepared"

A meeting scheduled for today, of the state's hydrofracking advisory panel, has been called off.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which convenes the panel, confirmed that the meeting was not happening, but did not give a reason.

The 17 member advisory panel includes environmentalists, local government officials, and representatives from the natural gas drilling industry.  It's charged with giving recommendations to the DEC about how to best handle hydrofracking.

Erica Ringewald is the communications director for Environmental Advocates of New York, whose executive director, Robert Moore, is part of the advisory panel. She says the meeting was canceled because a number of state agencies did not have reports ready about how they will be affected by drilling.

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