New York will move to ban high-volume hydrofracking after a Department of Health review could not determine the controversial natural gas drilling process was safe.

“Would I live in a community with (fracking) based on the facts that I have now? Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me … my answer is no,” Acting Health Commissioner Howard Zucker told Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his cabinet.

The long-awaited announcement, given on Wednesday at meeting of Cuomo’s cabinet, is a significant victory for the environmental movement that has sprung up around the issue and will almost certainly be challenged in court by the energy industry.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said as a result of the Department of Health’s determination, a formal and “legally binding” ban on the process will be signed next year following a formal regulatory review process.

Cuomo predicted the move will result in a “ton of lawsuits” but indicated he was confident the state is on firm legal footing in putting the fracking ban in place.

In assessing whether hydrofracking would be viable in the state’s Southern Tier, the governor’s top environmental and health officials pointed to a June 2014 Court of Appeals ruling that upheld local bans on hydrofracking. With restriction already recommended by the state on hydrofracking in the Marcellus Shale region, Martens said only 37 percent of the area would be viable for natural gas development.

At the same time, low natural gas prices have made hydrofracking not as economically appealing as once thought, Martens said.

Cuomo insisted that he had no role in the decision to ban hydrofracking, one that critics of the move will doubt given the governor’s reputation for being hands on.

Indeed, supporters of hydrofracking and critics of the governor pounced on the news.

“This study was a political charade from the start. Andrew Cuomo has given into the radical environmental Luddites in his own party to leave New York as the only one of the 35 states with extractable natural gas to be missing out on the hydro-fracking boom,” said state Republican Chairman Ed Cox.

But environmental advocates and hydrofracking opponents praised the development and took some credit for applying pressure on state officials.

“New York is worth more than the gas under our feet,” Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton. “Six years ago, the gas drillers told us hydrofracking was an inevitability. We believed in a better future for our state. Every New Yorker who spoke up, called their lawmakers, boarded a bus to Albany, signed a petition or put a sign in their yard deserves enormous credit. Hats off to the New Yorkers Against Fracking Coalition. When the people are united, there is no force that can stop us.”

Cuomo, however, said the outside forces, which he said was more “emotion charged” on the fracking issue than same-sex marriage and gun control, didn’t play a role in the decision to ban fracking.

“We didn’t rush anything,” Cuomo said. “We took our time.”

And Cuomo also said the decision wasn’t made based on politics, even as it was not made until after his re-election last month over Republican Rob Astorino, who campaigned in support of hydrofracking.

“It can’t be political because it came out after the elections,” Cuomo said.

Nevertheless, Cuomo acknowledged that the Southern Tier, which runs along the state’s border with northern Pennsylvania is in need of an economic boost.

Cuomo said that while the area is in line to receive a potential casino resort in today’s announcement, that is unlikely to help stimulate the needed job growth in the region proponents of hydrofracking say allowing the process would have brought.

“That is a legitimate question,” Cuomo said when asked about alternative economic development models for the Southern Tier. “They need the jobs.”