RALEIGH, N.C. — A reconstituted panel charged with regulating North Carolina oil and natural gas exploration — including fracking — plans to meet for the first time this week, even as Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration questions whether it can legally do so.

The state Oil & Gas Commission needs to meet Wednesday so it can address several complaints within a 60-day window, according to Jim Womack, who was originally appointed in 2015 to an earlier form of the commission by Senate leader Phil Berger, a Republican. The outside complaints include challenges to moratoria on fracking in Lee and Chatham counties, Womack said Monday.

The legislature altered the commission last year in response to a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down the board’s composition because General Assembly leaders appointed most of the members. Now five of the nine commissioners are appointed by the governor. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory appointed members before he left office last December.

The No. 2 leader at the Department of Environmental Quality questioned whether Womack is actually a commission member, since his appointment was made prior to last year’s modifications. And there are concerns over whether the members can lawfully meet without state ethics officials signing off on all their economic disclosure statements, Chief Deputy Secretary John Nicholson wrote Womack late last week.

“We believe that the two factors affect the commission’s ability to lawfully convene a meeting on (Wednesday),” Nicholson wrote, “and as a result, DEQ and our staff cannot support its efforts under the current circumstances.”

In an email, Womack said the panel will meet as scheduled in Sanford. Womack said Nicholson’s letter is erroneous, saying he was properly appointed and his term hasn’t expired. All current commissioners have submitted their economic statements or will do so by the meeting, he said.

“DEQ has no legitimate reason to challenge or interfere with the Sept 20th meeting,” he wrote. “There is no workaround under the law.”

Wednesday’s meeting, first reported by the liberal-leaning group NC Policy Watch, comes more than two years since the final rules governing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, took effect following a long process by another commission. Womack was previously chairman of that commission and is now the Lee County GOP chairman.

While McCrory and other Republicans pressed for opening the door to energy exploration, interest has been minimal so far, and no fracking permits have even been issued in the state. Cooper has said he doesn’t see a need for fracking in North Carolina and has promoted the expansion of renewable energy in the state.