Green Groups Cry 'foul' After State Gives Exclusive Regulatory Access To Gas Industry
ALBANY, NY (06/28/2012)--In response to reports that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation gave the gas industry and its lobbyists exclusive preliminary access to draft regulations and plans related to high volume hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," Earthworks, Environmental Advocates of New York, Environment New York, Otsego 2000, and Riverkeeper released the following statement:
"We are appalled that the Department of Environmental Conservation fed privileged information to the gas industry before sharing it with the public. These actions undermine the agency's credibility. It even appears from the released documents that the DEC negotiated the substance of their regulations with the industry in advance of public release.
By negotiating with gas industry lobbyists without consulting health professionals, economic experts, and environmental groups on impacts related to the health, safety, and economy of New Yorkers, the DEC tipped the scales in favor of fracking before performing a full environmental and economic assessment of the process.
The groups are left to wonder what other fracking plans have been secretly shared with the gas industry. Did industry lobbyists get a preview of the Governor's 'plan' to limit fracking to five counties?
We are calling on Governor Cuomo and the DEC to be up front with the people of New York.
Science, a full assessment of health impacts, stringent regulations, and effective plans to deal with toxic waste and other environmentally damaging aspects of fracking--not the wishes of the gas industry--should determine whether the state moves forward with fracking."