New York's Hydrofracking Comments Closed

By Dave Greber
By Callan Gray

January 12, 2013 Updated Jan 12, 2013 at 1:45 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The deadline has passed for those intending to submit a comment for or against hydraulic fracturing coming to New York.

The public was invited to submit their comments about whether to allow hydraulic fracturing to the state's Department of Environmental Conservation during a 30-day period that expired at 5 p.m. Friday.

That has local officials on both sides of the issue talking.

Some are looking for even more time and they're hopeful a separate health review will find fracking isn't worth the impact.

"This is the most important part of this process, is making sure that the health and safety of our citizens is paramount. I think everybody agrees with that on both sides. And let's have the Governor listen to all those elected officials who are very concerned about the way this health impact statement has gone in this document," said Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan.

Those in favor, however, say they hope the latest extension is the last, and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifts a nearly five-year moratorium.

"We're very cautiously optimistic now of course that this will all stay on track and get completed. We're really happy today that there weren't any extensions filed. It's a really good sign for New York state moving forward with natural gas," said Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Land Owners Coalition of New York.

Ryan and hundreds of other leaders earlier this week called for even more time to allow the public to submit their comments.

Ryan and other said they wanted 90 more days because the latest 30-day extension fell during two national holidays.

The DEC could make its final decision on hydraulic fracturing by Feb. 27.