Environmental group sues NY over drilling records

Associated Press Modified: September 19, 2012 at 10:30 am •  Published: September 19, 2012

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — An environmental group is suing the Cuomo administration over public records pertaining to the state's communications with energy industry interests hoping to drill for shale gas in New York using hydraulic fracturing.

The Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group said Wednesday that it sued because the state Department of Environmental Conservation handed over fewer than 300 documents when it requested public records in March.

The group said the records were a "paltry" amount compared to the number of public documents the agency's staff generated in discussions with gas-drilling representatives.

"Given the high stakes for New York and the rest of country in this matter in regards to drilling, we thought this was the clear next step in order to shed further light on the process," said Thomas Cluderay, the group's assistant general counsel.

Cluderay said the documents the group did receive from the state indicated there were significant "gaps" in the records of communications among DEC staff and energy industry representatives about the state's ongoing planning for fracking regulations.

Administration spokesman Richard Bamberger said Wednesday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office is reviewing the lawsuit.

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