Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Anti-fracking activists are also fighting New York’s efforts to lift a ban on small natural gas storage and fueling facilities. A public information session on the matter held in Syracuse on Wednesday became about the larger natural gas industry.

New York is the only state to ban small-scale natural gas storage. That came after a 1970s facility accident in New York City. Now, under efforts from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, new fueling stations for trucks could be built as early as next year.

The DEC says the first permits would likely be issued for smaller facilities supplying fuel to long-haul and fleet trucks that use liquefied natural gas as a cheaper substitute for diesel.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

About 4 million gallons of water goes into a typical Marcellus Shale well during the fracking process. As much as 20% of what went in comes back out right away. That’s what’s known as flowback water.

Over the life of a producing well, more than a million gallons comes out, and after the initial flowback the rest is known as produced water.

In Pennsylvania, treating that water for metals and total dissolved solids and radioactive materials at public treatment plants has caused problems.

Marie Cusick / WMHT

One thing is clear - the delayed health review is now the key factor in deciding whether or not fracking will go ahead in New York.

On Tuesday, Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah sent a letter to Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens saying he needs more time to complete his health review. Martens then announced that his department’s environmental study, known as the SGEIS, will be delayed until Dr. Shah is done.

That means final regulations won’t be released at the end of the month. The SGEIS was due Wednesday to meet a Feb. 27 deadline for the regulations. Now that the SGEIS is on hold, the regulations will go back out for public comment.

But that delay won’t necessarily slow down fracking.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah sent a letter to Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens today, asking for more time to complete a review of the public health impacts of fracking.

This means that the DEC will miss tomorrow's deadline to complete its overall environmental review of fracking (known as the SGEIS), and the regulations it's written to govern the industry will expire at the end of the month.

This development could stall a final decision on fracking for months, but in a statement Martens says his agency will still be able to issue well permits if the health review concludes that the SGEIS is adequate.

Matt Ryan / WMHT

New York’s DEC Commissioner Joe Martens suggested today that the state may miss a February 27th deadline to complete its proposed fracking regulations.

And that could stall a decision on gas drilling for months.