NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York environmental regulators have issued proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing of natural gas in New York state and now they want the public to weigh in.

The Department of Environmental Conservation is outlining rules for permitting gas-drilling companies to pump water, chemicals and sand into deep wells at high pressure to release natural gas from shale in the lucrative Marcellus Shale region the state.

To read the proposed regulations, click here.

The state hasn’t allowed “hydrofracking” in the Marcellus Shale since it began drafting new permitting rules three years ago.

Hydrofracking has been a hotly contested topic in the state. In a live online chat over the weekend, Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to answer questions about the practice, saying the format wasn’t right to discuss the matter.

“Let me say this,” Cuomo said. “My point all along is to make the decision on hydrofracking based on the facts and on the science. This is not an issue to be decided by politics or emotion. DEC’s process is fair, intelligent and open and I am letting the process proceed.”

Last month, protestors rallied outside Cuomo’s office calling on him to ban hydrofracking.

The DEC will accept public comments until Dec. 12.

Hearings are scheduled Nov. 16 in Dansville, Nov. 17 in Binghamton, Nov. 29 in Sheldrake and Nov. 30 in Manhattan.

For more information about the state’s exploration in the Marcellus Shale, click here.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE