Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s delay on whether to allow hydrofracking permits to be issued in New York will be tested by a lawsuit to be filed today by the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, the group announced Thursday night.
The coalition, acting on behalf of 70,000 members, said the lawsuit is aimed at compelling the state Department of Environmental Conservation to complete the environmental impact statement concerning horizontal hydraulic drilling techniques to harvest shale gas.
The lawsuit, to be filed in state Supreme Court in Albany, will argue that the state’s decision to hold off on making a decision on drilling rules until state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah completes a study of health impacts was “arbitrary and capricious.”
Dick Downey of Otego, the leader of the Unatego Area Landowners Association, a local group affiliated with the statewide landowners group, said he was pleased the lawsuit is moving forward.
“Cuomo is dragging his feet because he doesn’t want to offend his base,” Downey said.
Downey said his group chipped in $11,000 to help fund the lawsuit.
Shah said in Albany this month he has no timetable for completing his examination of the health impacts from fracking.