JLCNY Receives Financial Backing

By Peter Quinn

Published 01/31 2014 04:54PM

Updated 01/31 2014 05:23PM

Publish the SGEIS or brace for a lawsuit. That's the message the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is sending to New York State, including the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The JLCNY has received backing from the Mountain States Legal Foundation, based in Colorado. The organization will help the Joint Landowners pay for its legal costs if it sues to try to force the State to allow fracking for natural gas. The Coalition told New York State today to publish the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement for fracking within two weeks or it will sue. Fracking has been on hold for years in New York State. JLCNY says the issue has become strictly political and it needs to stop.

"This is all about the Governor making a decision, making it on the facts and the science, and putting aside the political issues and strategy and moving forward with an opportunity that everyone else in the country, including the President of the United States, are moving forward with," said attorney Scott Kurkoski.

Kurkoski says the SGEIS has been done since Labor Day of 2012. Fractivist Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action says he is tentatively optimistic that permits for fracking won't be issued anytime soon in New York State. Recently, the DEC Commissioner said that the State has no plans to issue them in the coming fiscal year. Silberman-Gorn says the potential lawsuit is a P.R. stunt.

"The State has an obligation to protect its residents and look into the health effects and this is the State doing its due diligence, so we think, to sue to try to push that process forward is really desperate," said Silberman-Gorn.

The JLCNY plans to move ahead with legal action on Valentine's Day, if its deadline isn't met.

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