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Attorney General threatens suit over hydrofracking

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Buffalo: Attorney General threatens suit over hydrofracking
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While New York is undergoing its own review of the potential pitfalls of hydraulic fracturing, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued an ultimatum to the federal government: Begin a comprehensive study on the process commonly known as hydrofracking within 30 days or be sued. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more.

NEW YORK STATE -- While New York is undergoing its own review of the potential pitfalls of hydraulic fracturing, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Monday issued an ultimatum to the federal government: Begin a comprehensive study on the process commonly known as hydrofracking within 30 days or be sued.

"While the attorney general supports the ongoing environmental review here in New York, it is incumbent upon the federal agencies to implement in essence a similar environmental review of the scope of their regulations, which has the potential to have an effect on New Yorkers," said Lem Srolovic, Environmental Bureau Chief at the Attorney General's office.

Schneiderman is targeting the Delaware River Basin Commission, a multi-agency federal body that covers four states, including New York. Environmentalists say the commission hasn't studied its own proposed rules changes for hydrofracking.

"The commission has failed to do that so far and it's a huge flaw in how they're moving forward in permitting natural gas drilling," said Dave Gahl, policy director of Environmental Advocates.

But business groups disagree. The Independent Oil and Gas Association, a lobby group that supports drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region of the state's Southern Tier, issued a statement knocking Schneiderman's plan.

The association issued a statement, saying there is "..No reason to believe that the DRBC might somehow do other than what it always has done: Protect water quality and water supply and conserve the resources of the basin for the public's recreation and enjoyment."

New York's environmental study on hydrofracking is expected to be released in June. The earliest the state can begin issuing permits to drill for natural gas is July.

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