Dozens of groups across New York want more time to review the state’s proposed “fracking” rules.
76 organizations representing thousands of residents signed a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Department of Environmental Conservation urging them to extend the public comment period.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is supporting groups request, including State Senator Mark Grisanti.
“The public itself doesn’t have time to review it,” Grisanti told WNED News.
The DEC’s draft regulations for the controversial natural gas drilling process weigh in at more than a thousand pages and the public, right now, will get 60 days to review the complex document and respond.
Grisanti is Chair of the Senate’s Environmental Conservation Committee.
He says there’s plenty of time to extend the comment period to 180-days because the regulations would not take effect for another year.
Grisanti says he’s also pushing to make sure that drilling fees and permit costs be earmarked directly to the DEC.
“These funds need to go to the DEC,” Grisanti said.
“The DEC has been cut tremendously in the last few years and we need reshape up the DEC.”
The Buffalo Republican says he’s read the 40 page summary of the draft and sees no problem with it.
Grisanti says the DEC should be commended because the proposed rules will prevent the kind of companies tied to fracking in Pennsylvania which “destroyed the infrastructure and left….New York is not going to let that to happen.”
A recent Quinnipiac survey found New York voters split over the expansion of hydro-fracking.
Upstate residents tend to support the process more than downstate residents.