Legislation to continue a moratorium on drilling for natural gas in New York State for three years is being handed over to the State Senate.

The Assembly has approved an extension on the ban on hydraulic fracture drilling until 2017 to allow for more study of the impact of facking to residents’ health and the environment.

Capitol watchers, however, say they don’t expect the measure to go any further before the end of the legislative session.

Supporters of the delay say studies in Pennsylvania and Colorado in areas where fracking has been underway have shown an increase in health problems, including cancer and birth defects that some link to the gas extraction method that involves injecting chemicals and water underground to crack shale and salt deposits to release natural gas.

Central New York Assemblyman, Republican Clifford Crouch issued a statement and said he could not support a delay in the exploration of natural gas resources in the Marcellus Shale formation.  Crouch says it translates into a suspension of jobs and revenue for the state.