NY fracking decision faces further delay on health study
NEW YORK | Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:46pm EST
Feb 12 (Reuters) - New York State's decision to lift a four-year ban on natural gas drilling faced further delay on Tuesday after officials conducting a key health impact study asked for more time to form their conclusions on the divisive issue.
The New York Department of Health, which has been commissioned to study how the drilling process known as fracking affects public health, said the review is ongoing but that a few more weeks are needed due to the "complexity of the issues".
"As we have been reviewing the scope of these studies, I have determined that the DOH Public Health Review will require additional time to complete based on the complexity of the issues," said health commissioner Nirav Shah in a letter to Joe Martens, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
If the Feb. 27 deadline is missed it could force the administration to restart the regulatory process, which would include another period for public comments, potentially holding up the process for months.