The firm contracted by the state to help complete an environmental impact statement for the controversial natural gas drilling process hydrofracking clarified its relationship with an energy industry trade group in a letter to the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The letter from Ecology and Environment Inc.‘s in-house counsel Colleen Mullaney-Westfall asserts that the firm has never been a corporate member of the Independent Oil and Gas Association, one of the key energy lobbying organizations pushing for the state to allow high-volume hydrofracking.

The consulting company was listed on a letter this week from IOGA that had called on Cuomo to move forward with hydrofracking after the state missed multiple regulatory deadlines. Democratic lawmakers and the New York Public Interest Research Group at a news conference in Albany this morning called on the Cuomo administration to scrap the environmental impact statement and start again.

That E&E had been included in the IOGA letter came to light from Gannett’s Albany bureau the same day it was released, Monday. E&E didn’t clarify its relationship with IOGA until today after the news conference.

But Ecology and Environment writes in the letter that IOGA “misrepresented” their relationship with the trade group. Only one employee of E&E was a dues-paying member of IOGA, and that was to receive the group’s newsletter and attend conferences in order to keep up to date on technical developments within the industry, Mullaney-Westfall wrote in the letter.

E&E had been paying the dues for that employee, but after IOGA included them in their public push as an affiliated group, the company has directed the employee to terminate their membership with IOGA.

The letter from E&E was released to reporters by the Department of Environmental Conservation this afternoon.

EE Letter 4-24-13 by Nick Reisman