Cuomo Team Gives Drillers Jump Start to Influence Fracking Rules
THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 2012
New York regulators gave natural gas drilling industry representatives exclusive access to draft regulations for shale gas drilling as early as six weeks before they were made public, according to records obtained by the Environmental Working Group through New York's Freedom of Information Law.
In at least one instance, a representative of one of the nation’s most powerful drilling companies used this exclusive access to try to weaken rules restricting discharges of radioactive wastewater.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, known as the DEC, published a 1,500-page environmental impact statement on horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing on Sept. 7 and corresponding draft regulations on Sept. 28. If adopted, the DEC’s regulatory scheme could allow 50,000 gas wells in New York’s portion of the Marcellus Shale, a vast underground formation that stretches along the Appalachian chain as far south as Kentucky. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D, told an Albany radio station WGDJ Friday he will decide “shortly” whether to proceed with this plan.