The new rules are intended to reduce 95 percent  of the harmful emissions from fracking wells, which contribute to smog and public health concerns. At the same time, the new rules underscore the political balancing act for the Obama administration, which has said it wants to aggressively pursue natural gas as an energy source.
Going into effect in 60 days, the rules cover the period when a well is first drilled when natural gas is still venting but before it begins actual production. In a compromise with the industry, regulators said the drillers can flare, or burn off, the gas for now, a process that can last for weeks. But starting in 2015 they would lose that option. Instead, they’ll be required to collect it — so-called green completion of new fracking wells.
The Cuomo administration is currently examining whether to allow hydrofracking in New York. The state had been hoping  to begin issuing drill permits this year, but the timeline is now unclear .