Geologist Brian Brock’s has written his account of how he FOIL’d the DEC to get copies of the 1997 proposed fracking regulations, the drafts that were based on the 1992 GEIS, which infamously were never reduced to rules and regulations. The saga of Mr. Brock’s efforts to get those drafts is an indictment on the Division of Mineral Resources (DMN) efforts to prevent the rules and regulations from taking effect, and subsequently, prevent them from being discovered during the dSGEIS review.
From this record, you can make the case that DMN did their best to try and keep the 1997 draft regs from seeing the light of day with delays and spurious denials. The odds that every single copy of the 1997 draft regs was destroyed by accident are astronomically small. These are not obscure documents, but were the topics of three public workshops. Not clear who in DMN made the considerable earlier effort to erase the existence of these draft regs. (Greg Sovas was the head of the division at the time)
Then there is the role of IOGA-NY in all of this. They are on the record as being opposed to more regulations and pleased with how the GEIS (1992) was handled. (It was not reduced to regulations)
This seems a scandal on at least two counts. First that the guidelines GEIS (1992) were not used to update the regulations. As stated in the GEIS, its purpose was to generate a long-overdue revision of the 1972 regulations. Secondly, the DMN was able to hide the history of these regulations during the dSGEIS process – denying the public and the experts information.
Simply put, the regulations the DEC kept under wraps are better than the ones they now propose – after almost 300,000 public comments. This is not just an indictment on the 4 year dSGEIS review process, it’s an indictment on the DEC’s leadership, past and present.
Governor Cuomo does not want to deal with this while he has his sights set on 2016, so rather than address what a mess the DEC has become, he’s going to punt to the courts. Who will then look into how the DEC was corrupted by the gas lobby. Right under Governor Cuomo’s nose. . .