Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has told parliament it's not good enough for NSW to have different rules on coal seam gas projects than other states.
Mr Burke says under a national partnership agreement, signed by most states, the federal government has put up money for independent science to be locked into informing planning decisions.
He tabled in parliament on Thursday a letter from NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell saying that state wanted a different set of rules for some CSG projects.
"It is simply not good enough to have a situation where one state is wanting to make sure that the scientific checks are not done to them," Mr Burke told parliament.
"For some reason, and you can all work out your own conclusions as to why, Barry O'Farrell does not want that information to inform planning decisions in NSW."
The minister said in other states, like Queensland, there is an exclusion zone around settled areas to prevent serious loss of ground water through CSG exploration and extraction.
"In NSW instead of it only being in areas well away from settled areas there are proposals in not only New England, that has had a whole lot of publicity, but up in the far north coast of NSW, in the Hunter, in the Illawarra - in western Sydney there are areas subject to this."
Mr Burke said when he dealt with proposals in Qld there were concerns raised about ground subsidence near CSG projects - where land drops after ground water is extracted.
He said if this happened near a settled area it could cause problems under people's homes, under schools and under roads.
Earlier, Mr O'Farrell said he was surprised the federal government no longer believed NSW has the toughest CSG regulations in Australia.
Mr O'Farrell said the federal government had in December 2012 accepted what they agreed were the strictest CSG regulations in the nation.
The only thing that had changed since then, he said, was the announcement of a federal election.
It now appeared that politics had got in the way, Mr O'Farrell said.
The NSW premier said he intends to contact the federal government to find out why their stance has changed and will then respond to Mr Burke or Prime Minister Julia Gillard.