A group of Senate Democrats is the latest to pile on the state Department of Environmental Conservation for allowing the natural-gas industry a sneak peak at a pair of hydrofracking documents before their public release.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, sent a letter to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens today, requesting a “full explanation of DEC’s actions in this case.”

“We believe this action on the part of DEC has seriously 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,” they wrote.

The letter is in response to a report from the Environmental Working Group last week, examining DEC emails that showed the agency shared a draft of its proposed hydrofracking regulations and a stormwater runoff permit with an industry lobbyist a month before it was released last September.

A DEC spokeswoman said last week that the agency was complying with the state Administrative Procedures Act by asking the industry to provide cost-related information on the permits.

2012-07-05 Letter to Martens Re Regs Release


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