In the wake of news that New York State will delay its final decision on natural gas development through hydraulic fracturing to further assess any health impacts of the process, Gov. Cuomo said that this does not represent a step back in the natural gas development review process.

The Governor told reporters that the Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision to work with the Department of Health on a health impact assessment is intended to ensure “stronger review to withstand a legal challenge,” and to ensure that the state’s review process and rulemaking are “more defensible…in the event we’re challenged.”

Given the hysteria of the anti-natural gas folks we’re pretty certain that they will be filing lawsuits when hydraulic fracturing is finally approved by DEC.  And while we are disappointed at yet another delay – this review process began in December 2008 – we continue to believe that the science will show that this process can be done safely and responsibly.

We know that this decision has been met with a great deal of frustration by those in the Southern Tier who are waiting for drilling to be approved so that they can reap the economic benefits – both direct and indirect – that it will offer.  Read this recent blog post from Lou Santoni, President & CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce and Unshackle Upstate Board.  Lou talks about the impact of this seemingly endless delay, and how it will impact our region generally.