NEW YORK STATE — The battle between pro- and anti-fracking forces in New York State opened on a new front this week as two groups sent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to three towns that …
NEW YORK STATE — The battle between pro- and anti-fracking forces in New York State opened on a new front this week as two groups sent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to three towns that have passed pro-gas drilling resolutions.
In letters dated October 2, the National Resources Defense Council and Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy contacted the towns of Delaware and Fremont in Sullivan County and Sanford in Broome County.
The letters specifically ask for documents regarding communications with the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, which has crafted a pro-drilling resolution that has been adopted by a number of towns in the state. The letters also seek copies of communications between the towns and any organizations or businesses connected to drilling.
Additionally, the letters ask for copies of any communications with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office or the NY Department of Environmental Conservation, which may be significant because Cuomo has indicated that a town’s acceptance of drilling may be a determining factor in whether drilling and fracking will be allowed to go forward in a given municipality.
The copies of communications sought to deal with a number of gas-related activities such as zoning, leasing and gas production.
Further, there have been charges that the towns did not follow the Open Meetings Law when adopting the resolutions, and documents related to that are also requested. For example, the Town of Fremont is asked to supply “The required notice, pursuant to the Open Meetings Law, for the July 11, 2012 town board meeting” and the Town of Sanford is asked for “The September 11, 2012 town board resolution prohibiting public comment on natural gas development during the public participation portion of town board meetings.”
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