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June 29 Dec Foil

June 29 Dec Foil

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Published by: jspector on Jun 29, 2012
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06/29/2012

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June 29, 2012

Records Access Officer New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
 625 Broadway Albany, NY

On June 27, 2012 the Environmental Working Group released documents that detail communication between the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the oil and gas industry and its lobbyists that took place in advance of the release of DEC’s proposed regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York. The report, “Drillers Got Inside Track on N.Y. Fracking Rules,” details attempts by the oil and gas industry to minimize its potential operational costs of doing business in New York -- and therefore maximize its potential bottom line -- by getting the DEC to weaken regulations before they had even been proposed. This approach betrays the Cuomo Administration’s promises of transparency and openness in government. Furthermore it raises questions about the influence that the oil and gas industry may have had on the Cuomo Administration’s DEC’s revised supplemental generic environmental impact statement (RDGEIS) given the lack of consideration in the RDSGEIS of numerous scientific studies that reflect poorly on the practice of shale gas development. It also raises questions about the formulation of the purported plan to allow fracking to move forward in five counties of the Southern Tier, as leaked by the New York Times on June 13, 2012. Under the provisions of New York's Freedom of Information Law, Food & Water Watch requests any and all records of communication and correspondence between the oil and gas industry and parties reviewing comments on, revising and finalizing the RDSGEIS and in formulating the purported plan to allow fracking in five counties in the Southern Tier. Specifically, the scope of our request shall include any letters, emails and notes of correspondence since July 1, 2011 between: (i) The oil and gas industry (including but not limited to: Chesapeake Energy; Range Resources; CONSOL Energy; Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation; Norse Energy Corp:, Southwestern Energy Corporation; and Lenape Resources, Inc.), law firms and consultancies representing the gas industry (including but not limited to: the West Firm; Hiscock & Barclay; Levine, Gouldin & Thompson; Hinman Straub; Corning Place Communications; and Earth Energy Consultants), and gas industry associations (including but not limited to: American Natural Gas Alliance; and Independent Oil & Gas Association of New York); and

(ii) Governor Cuomo's office, the NY DEC, Ecology and Environment, Inc., and any other parties tasked with or involved in reviewing comments on, revising and finalizing the RDSGEIS and the accompanying proposed regulations for high-volume hydraulic fracturing in New York. Thank you for your attention to this request. Sincerely, Alex Beachamp Northeast Regional Director Food & Water Watch 155 Water Street, Suite 713
 Brooklyn, NY 11201

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