State DEC Commissioner Joe Martens says long-awaited regulations for shale gas drilling will be delayed after the state's health commissioner said his office needs more time to study the possible health impacts.
The DEC had faced a deadline Wednesday to complete its 4 1/2-year-old environmental impact study of drilling for gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Martens said Tuesday the deadline will be missed, meaning regulations due to be released Feb. 27 will be delayed.
But Martens says issuing of permits for shale gas drilling could begin even while regulations are being finished if the health department's review finds DEC's impact study adequately addresses health concerns. He expects that review to be done in a few weeks.