Oversight needed

| Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The news story “Pyle's endangered species bill spurs South Buffalo debate” (Sept. 18 and TribLIVE.com) about a hearing on the proposed Endangered Species Coordination Act reported on the state Game Commission's and Fish and Boat Commission's positions about the bill. Those positions must be challenged.

Legislation allowing for an independent review of proposed additions to threatened or endangered species of plants and animals for projects requiring state permits has been misrepresented and the subject of scare tactics.

The commissions refuse to allow oversight of these decisions by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC), established to ensure state government decisions are legal and whose review is applicable to every other state government agency and action.

The article misstated that the IRRC would be able to add or remove species for threatened or endangered status. That is not true. The IRRC would only evaluate proposals from the two commissions.

Executives from the commissions have not answered direct questions about the processes followed to propose a new endangered species and have been evasive in providing information about their “independent oversight boards” that review additions for the threatened and endangered lists.

In an age of transparency in government, how can these commissions operate without their decisions being subject to an independent review?

Why aren't groups that normally squawk for more public participation about every government decision doing the same in this case?

Louis D. D'Amico


The writer is president and executive director of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (pioga.org).

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