The Associated Press is reporting the Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to reopen the rulemaking process for shale gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing.

The news sheds doubt on whether a four-year moratorium will be lifted by the end of the year.

The D.E.C. anticipates it will miss the November 29th deadline for finalizing regulations.  If that is the case, it would be necessary to reopen the process with at least one public hearing.