Newly appointed Norse Energy lawyer Tom West (from Albany) is a man of his word. He says what he means and means what he says. Exactly two weeks ago West had a “demand” letter hand-delivered to NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens. The letter, “demanding” to have a release date for the now 5 1/2 year-old draft fracking regulations, was also delivered to State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah and to Gov. Andrew Cuomo himself (see Tom West Demands DEC Com. Martens Release the SGEIS – Soon). The unstated threat was that if there is no response, West fully intends to file an Article 78 lawsuit against all three to force the release. Article 78 is a provision that makes recalcitrant (and ineffective) government officials do their job.
Yesterday afternoon West made good on the threat and filed the lawsuit (see a full copy embedded below). Among the justifications for requesting the court to force the release of the fracking regulations (called the SGEIS), is this “hit it out of the park” statement: