Joseph Martens, who directs the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), is scheduled to answer questions from the public from 9-10 a.m. EDT on Saturday about natural gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing on CitizensConnect, a website created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to promote communication with his administration. DEC spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said all questions to Martens would be welcomed. "This is an important issue with great public interest. Commissioner Martens is happy to engage with the public about it." Questions may be submitted online before Saturday.
Amber Benzon and Robert Petrilli have joined the staff of the industry-backed Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC). Benzon, who was policy director for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, will direct MSC's government affairs. Petrilli will be vice president of finance and administration. He previously worked for several firms, including WQED Multimedia, the Pittsburgh G-20 World Summit and Chester Engineers.