Senators want an explanation for early release of fracking rules to industry
The release of proposed state hydrofracking regulations to industry professionals before the public got a look at them has prompted a demand for an explanation from a handful of downstate Democratic state senators,
In a letter today to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the senators chastise the state Department of Environmental Conservation for releasing the regulations privately before making them available to the public.
They said the early release "undermined the legitimacy of these regulations, as it has given the natural gas industry an advantage in shaping the proposed regulations to its own benefit."
The letter is in response to news that draft regulations from the DEC were given to gas industy representatives in the middle of August, more than a month before their public release.
The senators allege that this early private release allowed industry representatives to lobby for changes to the regulations prior to their public publication. In particular, they say the representatives lobbied to scale back reporting requirements for the "stormwater general permit for high-volume hydraulic fracturing."
The DEC maintains that the early release was in compliance with the state Administrative Procedure Act.
The letter was signed by Liz Krueger, Martin Malave-Dilan, Thomas Duane and Kevin Parker. They are requesting a full explanation of the DEC's early release and an account of any changes to regulations that were made the request of the gas industry.
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2012-07-05 Letter to Martens Re Regs Release