NY health chief: Longer gas-drilling study needed

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Environmental groups are praising state regulators for delaying a decision on shale gas development until a more in-depth health study is finished. But landowners eager to reap profits from their mineral resources are frustrated at another delay in a rulemaking process that has kept drilling on hold for 4 1/2 years.

Nick Schoonover, a landowner in southern New York who organized a coalition of landowners five years ago to pursue gas leases, said Tuesday the delay is irresponsible.

The Department of Environmental Conservation had faced a deadline Wednesday to complete its comprehensive environmental impact study of drilling for gas using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said Tuesday the deadline will be missed but he expects the health department review to be done in a few weeks.

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