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The state needs more time to study the health and environmental effects of fracking.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said the Wednesday deadline for the long-awaited report on regulations for hydraulic fraturing will be missed meaning the Feb. 27 release date will be delayed.

The Associated Press reports that Martens says that issuing shale gas drilling permits could begin even while regulations are being finalized “if the health department’s review finds DEC’s impact study adequately addresses health concerns.”

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