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Martens Stepping Down As DEC Commissioner

WAMC/Pat Bradley

A day after enacting a promised ban on fracking, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joseph Martens has announced that he'll step down during July.

Martens said in an email sent to DEC staff Tuesday evening that his executive deputy, Marc Gerstman, will serve as acting commissioner until Gov. Andrew Cuomo appoints a successor.

On Monday, Martens finalized the state's ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a decision he had announced in December.

Martens is a former president of Manhattan-based Open Space Institute, a non-profit land preservation group He was appointed by Cuomo to head the DEC in 2011. Martens also worked as deputy secretary for energy and the environment under Gov. Mario Cuomo in the early 1990s.

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