zuckerThe commissioner of the state Department of Health in an interview on Monday said he is taking a look at the alternative method for extracting natural gas that could sidestep the state’s ban on hydrofracking.

“It was brought to my attention because I read about it and head about it, but I haven’t spoken directly to my team,” Commissioner Howard Zucker said in a Capital Tonight interview. “Anything that deals with the public’s health is something I will look at.”

Zucker, however, would not go into much detail on whether he believed the process should move forward in New York.

The proposal would use gelled propane instead of water to extract natural gas. Both environmental organizations and the energy industry believe the alternative method would not apply to the state’s ban on high-volume fracking, which uses a mixture of sand, water and chemicals to extract gas from shale.

Zucker in December announced the findings of the Department of Health’s years-long review of the health impact of hydrofracking, concluding that not enough information was available to determine the method could be performed safely in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration moved after years of deliberation and debates over regulations to put an administrative ban on hydrofracking in place, a move that was feted by the environmental movement that had been formed in opposition to fracking, but much to the disappointment of the natural gas indsutry.