The Albany Times Union reports that emails from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have raised questions about the ties between the state agency and the drilling industry.
The emails is question were obtained by the Environmental Working Group under a state Freedom of Information request.
The emails showed state officials gave details of a proposed permit and regulations for natural gas hydraulic fracturing or fracking to industry representatives before making them public.
The eco-group said the exchange suggests an overly cozy relationship between DEC and the natural gas industry, which is pushing to open up the state's Marcellus Shale region to drilling in the wake of a four-year moratorium.
DEC defended the private release, which excluded eco-groups that have raised safety concerns about drilling.
The agency called the communication consistent with state law meant to ensure regulations are not overly burdensome.
Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.