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New York state releases final fracking report

New York state regulators have released the long-awaited final version of its environmental impact review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. And it’s expected to lead to an official state ban on fracking.

The final fracking report includes the New York State Department of Health’s review of health risks. It also contains studies of spills and other incidents in Pennsylvania and the atmospheric effects of emissions from drilling operations.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced in December the review’s conclusion that hydrofracking could not be done safely in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at the time that he would defer to the judgment of his health and environmental conservation commissioners.

Issuing this final report makes that announcement closer to becoming official. Martens will issue a formal decision on a ban in 10 days -- the final step in the process.

New York is the only state sitting on top of large gas reserves that has not allowed fracking. 

The environmental review was launched in 2008 and drew more than 260,000 comments over the course of several revisions. And there's been a de facto moratorium during that time.

The state health study released in December found "significant uncertainty" over whether safety measures could adequately protect public health.

The Associated Press and WSKG News contributed to this report.