in LOHud The Journal News
ALBANY – New York's planned ban on large-scale hydraulic fracturing can be revisited by the state at any point, but likely won't be in the near future, the state's top environmental regulator said Wednesday.
Joseph Martens, Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner, testified before about two dozen state lawmakers for nearly four hours Wednesday, answering questions about the environmental initiatives in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $142 billion budget proposal. But several times, the conversation strayed to the Cuomo administration's plans to block high-volume fracking from proceeding in New York.
Sen. Thomas O'Mara, R-Big Flats, Chemung County, told Martens he finds it "frustrating" that the DEC has dragged out certain decision-making processes, including its review of fracking, which kicked off in 2008. O'Mara, who chairs the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, asked Martens whether the state's fracking ban can be overturned in the future.
Martens, who was appointed by Cuomo in 2011, said...