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July 22, 2014
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Is DRBC a federal agency?


Another statement that suggests there may be more than one federal agency involved in possible litigation came from Barbara Arrindell, co-founder of Damascus Citizens for Sustainability. She said, “It is absolutely essential that a full and complete EIS be undertaken before the DRBC proposes regulations. NEPA requires this of the federal family of agencies that share in DRBC decision-making.”

In any case, DCS may become part of the legal action. Jeff Zimmerman, an attorney for DCS, said in a statement, “If the federal agencies don’t start preparing the environmental impact statement called for by the Attorney General, we intend to join him in filing suit to protect the resources of the Delaware River Basin.”

Here is another issue that

Here is another issue that federal agency is involved. The United States Court of Appeals has ruled that embryonic stem cell research can receive federal financing. A federal court ruled in 2010 that federal financing could not be devoted to stem cell exploration, since federal law prevents federal funds getting used for any purpose that could result in the destruction of a human embryo. Stem cell exploration is nevertheless a hotly contested issue. I found this here: Embryonic stem cell research can be funded, says appeals court

AG's move was to simply grab headlines

Schneiderman's office answered the IOGA with the following,

"The Attorney General’s demand letter is addressed to the federal Army Corps of Engineers’ federal representative on the Commission, not to the Commission itself. The AG has not stated that he intends to sue the DRBC if the federal government refuses to comply with NEPA, which it is required to do, but rather the appropriate involved federal agencies.”
So apparently he's going after the federal government, or some unnamed agency, that should go far. Can he possibly pi$$ away more of NY taxpayer money and NY AG office personnel on this frivolity? Oh yes, he can also waste US departments and the courts time and which all boils down to more $$$ from the US taxpayers' pockets.
All for headlines and his politics.

Good presentation of the issue

My estimation is that the DRBC will proceed with the formulation of the draft regulations, without performing a cumulative environmental EIS first, unless a donor/funder emerges in a timely fashion. Even then, the commissioners may not have the political will to stop the current rule formulation proces in order to perform the EIS, without first having been forced to by lawsuit. They seem to desire political cover given by the Federal Court.

As Fritz Mayer points out, even if the DRBC, as an agency, is not ruled to be Federal, the Federal representative agencies, who fill a voting commissioner's role, certainly are.

Damascus Citizens is very happy that the NYS AG stepped in. If he had not, we would have brought suit, and as Jeff Zimmerman is quoted, we will join NYS in any case.

From the other side, there is no doubt that NWPOA et al will bring suit, at some time, depending on how this enfolds. I can't imagine it being resolved, except through Federal Court action.

News?

What portion of this story is new?