Assemblymember Rosenthal Demands SGEIS Be Thrown Out After Revelation That Consultant Has Ties to Industry

New York, NY - Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) today demanded that portions of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on Hydraulic Fracturing (SGEIS) be discarded and redone after learning that Ecology & Environment, Inc. (E&E), a consultant hired by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to analyze fracking's impact on the economy, has ties to the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York (IOGA), an industry group that represents oil and gas professionals in dealings with lawmakers and citizens.

“This is essentially a situation of the fox guarding the chicken coop,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The decision about whether to open up parts of New York State to fracking will have significant impacts on almost every aspect of life in New York, and it is critical that the SGEIS, the document upon which the decision will be made, be free of improprieties. Given E&E’s clear conflict of interest, the State must toss out the sections of the SGEIS it worked on, and also investigate whether other outside consultants hired to work on the SGEIS have similar ties to the industry.”

E&E was contracted by the DEC in 2011 to provide analysis on the economic impacts of fracking in New York State. After criticism that E&E did not account for the impact that fracking would have on property values, home mortgages and insurance eligibility, the DEC requested that additional analysis be conducted. It recently came to light that E&E is a member of IOGA, which represents oil and gas professionals to the citizens and lawmakers of New York State. According to its website, membership in IOGA is open to producers, operators, engineers, consultants, landowners and allied businesses and individuals.

“My constituents care deeply about fracking and the potential impacts it might have on public health, the environment and the economy,” continued Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “The State owes a duty to my constituents, and every single citizen, to ensure the purity of this process. E&E has a vested interest in the outcome of this debate, and the public cannot trust its research. We must toss out the sections of the SGEIS that E&E worked on, and start the process from scratch.”