Since it's technically a rule change, the deletions can't happen instantaneously but must first be proposed. The result is one of the more unusual rule changes announced in the official state register, the latest edition of which carries the headline: "Removing a Racially Offensive Term That Appears in the Regulations."
The agency proposed it as a "consensus rule," obviating the need for any public hearings. "DEC has determined that no person is likely to object to the adoption of the rule as written," the register states.
In the meantime, DEC deleted the word from regulations posted on its website. One of those instances, a little, narrow lake in the wooded wilderness of Hamilton County, is now referred to as "unnamed lake."
The required public-comment period still stands, which means the regulations won't officially be amended for another month and a half.
An offensively named road in the town of Danby in Tompkins County is cited in a report posted online in February. The agency was unaware of that until a reporter brought it to its attention on Thursday.
The federal government began to strip the n-word from its topographic maps in the early 1960s. But within the more obscure reaches of cartographic bureaucracy, the n-word occasionally endures. (WSJ, 7/22/2011)