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New York landowners file lawsuit against Cuomo over fracking delay

A fracking rally in Albany at the Capitol.

Two weeks ago, the landowners coalition sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding the release of the environmental impact study on hydrofracking, known as the SGEIS . The deadline was Thursday, February 13 and Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer for the coalition, filed the promised lawsuit the following day.

“Is he in favor of this or not? Because the rest of the nation is moving forward in a way that is providing energy independence," Kurkoski said. "Is New York a threat to that process?”

Regulators in Albany started the review process almost six years ago. For the past 15 months, it has been under an additional review by the Department of Health.

Dan Fitzsimmons is President of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York. Fitzsimmons says the governor has delayed the report purely for political reasons.

“It’s time that Albany stops the nonsense that’s been going on. They’ve affected the landowner’s rights. They’ve affected our lives. And this nonsense needs to end now,” Fitzsimmons said.

Isaac Silberman-Gorn, from the anti-fracking group Citizen Action of New York, says speculating about Governor Cuomo’s political motives is just that, speculation.

“We have every reason to believe that the governor is actually doing his due diligences by looking at the health effects of this heavy industry,” said Silberman-Gorn.

Silberman-Gorn says the lawsuit won’t be taken seriously in Albany and it’s nothing more then a PR stunt.

Kurkoski and the landowners are requesting a March 7 hearing in Albany.

JLCNY Memo of Law by Matthew Leonard