After presiding over a seemingly endless review of fracking in New York and weathering considerably criticism for the delay in a decision, it would be hard to blame DEC Commissioner Joe Martens for wanting to take a break.

Martens, a former president of the Open Space Institute and widely respected environmentalist, has served as head of the DEC since January 2011. (He was one of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s early appointees).

Back in November, there was a rumor that Martens’ would soon be departing his post, replaced by outgoing Republican Sen. Mark Grisanti, who lost his re-election bid to Democratic Senator-elect Marc Panepinto.

There was some logic to that idea. Grisanti chairs the Senate’s Environmental Committee, and also earned a big chit with the governor when he crossed party lines as one of four GOP senators to vote “yes” on gay marriage in the summer of 2011.

Cuomo declined to endorse Panepinto in the fall elections, but that didn’t help Grisanti, who was in a tight spot after losing the GOP primary and trying to seek re-election running just on the Independence Party line.

Despite whatever political favors Cuomo might still owe Grisanti, the DEC float was quickly shot down by an agency spokesperson, who said Martens had no plan to give up his job.

And apparently, the end of the fracking hasn’t changed his mind.

“I have no plans,” Martens said with a laugh when I asked him during a CapTon interview last night about his future.

“If I was going to leave, I would have left before this decision came out, because this took a lot of work.”

“And I just want to say I have to tip my hat, not only to DOH staff, but to DEC staff, who for – some of them six years – have been studying this issue exhaustively,” the commissioner continued.

“The draft supplemental generic environmental impact statements we put out reflected an enormous amount of work on the department and its staff, and I have to tip my hat to them.”

Despite Martens’ intent to stick around, the steady stream of top Cuomo administration officials heading for the door before Term II continues, however.

Capital NY reports that the latest departure will be that of State Labor Commissioner and former Assemblyman Peter Rivera, who submitted his retirement papers to the state comptroller’s office on Dec. 4. His retirement takes effect at the end of the year.