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The moratorium is in place until the plan is finalizedů Maybe a year or more out before anything could possibly occur.

Hydrofracking still a long way off

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Horizontal hydrofracking, the controversial natural gas drilling technique, is still a long ways off in New York's Marcellus Shale region.

The Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs has more on the long process ahead.

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When Governor Paterson put a moratorium on fracking in the Marcellus Shale until July 1, some thought that meant hydrofracking was just around the corner. But the Department of Environmental Conservation, or DEC, is still writing the guidelines to that will manage drilling.

And DEC spokesman Michael Bopp points out until those guidelines are in place, drilling can't begin, per the moratorium put in place by Governor Paterson. "The moratorium is in place until the plan is finalized," he said.

"We have said it won't be final until much later than that."

The DEC will be taking public comments on the permitting process this summer. Still ahead: another rewrite and training for DEC staff before the department  begins to grant companies the right to frack.

"Maybe a year or more out before anything could possibly occur," Bopp said.

But just in case things move quicker, New York State's Assembly has taken up another moratorium bill. It would put a hold on fracking for another year.

 

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