Commissioner Joe Martens

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.

Capital District Against Fracking

Environmentalists are welcoming the official end to the years-long fracking debate in New York. 

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens says cleaning up brownfields, improving access to public lands and increasing resiliency to extreme weather are among his agency's priorities in the coming fiscal year.

Martens spoke Wednesday at the first of 13 budget hearings before the Senate and Assembly fiscal committees.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

When New York became the second state in the nation (after Vermont)  to ban the controversial gas drilling method hydraulic fracturing, some were surprised that Governor Andrew Cuomo finally took a stance on the issue.

The fracking announcement December 17th came after six years of a de facto moratorium with a long-awaited health impact study. New York State acting Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, who said “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.”

Capital District Against Fracking

  Environmentalists are celebrating after Governor Andrew Cuomo says there will be no hydrofracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process.


Earth Week celebration got a lift Thursday in New York with an announcement of $1.4 million in conservation grants to land trusts statewide.

Grants were distributed to 50 nonprofit land trusts around the state.  Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens made the announcement at Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont:

Karen DeWitt

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Sewage pollution in the Hudson River at Albany will be reduced under a $136 million plan announced Thursday by New York State environmental regulators, the city of Albany and five other surrounding communities. 

A cleaner future for the Hudson River in 15 years? Officials say it's do-able. Under an agreement with the Department of Environmental Conservation, a coalition of six communities will upgrade sewer systems to reduce discharges of storm water-diluted sewage after heavy rain.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s new computerized sporting licensing system is operational.  Commissioner Joe Martens says the new system will allow sportsmen and sportswomen to conduct license transactions   

The transition of hunter, angler and trapper data required a temporary shutdown for sales of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, recreational marine fishing registrations and harvest game reporting.  The data transfer has been completed and individuals can resume normal transactions and reporting on the new system.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens was at the summit of Prospect Mountain in Lake George Wednesday morning to announce a state land acquisition.