Landowners coalition ready to sue if state misses fracking deadline

A landowners' coalition says it's laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against New York State if regulators miss a Feb. 27 deadline to complete rules for shale gas development.

Dan Fitzsimmons, president of the Joint Landowners Coalition of New York, tells members on the coalition's website that the decision whether to release the regulations or let them expire is being made for purely political reasons.

The class-action lawsuit would claim an illegal government "taking" under the Fifth Amendment, which says private property can't be taken for public use without just compensation.

New York has had a moratorium on gas drilling using horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, since an environmental impact study began in 2008.