Albany, NY, Aug 22, 2011 — State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says he's "not shutting the door" on holding a longer public comment period and new public hearings on hydrofracking. In Albany, Karen DeWitt reports.
Environmental and government reform groups have asked the DEC to extend a public comment period on an environmental assessment of hydro fracking in New York from 60 to 180 days and to include regional public hearings. Commissioner Martens, in his first public statements since the request, says he’s not ruling out a longer public comment period , and is thinking about more hearings.
“I know that lots of folks have asked for public hearings, and we’re considering it,” Martens said.
Martens spoke after a closed door meeting of an advisory council that includes environmentalists, local government officials, and gas drilling industry representatives, who will figure out how the agency can better implement inspections and permitting of new hydrofracking wells in New York.