NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – An unreleased state report found potential health impacts from fracking are addressed in the Department of Environmental Conservation’s regulatory plan, making a separate health impact study unnecessary.
The report, first obtained by the New York Times, references sections of the draft environmental review that deal with health impacts from shale gas drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The report concludes that adverse health impacts will be prevented if DEC’s guidelines are followed.
A DEC spokeswoman said the report is nearly a year old and outdated.
“Today’s news reports that the New York State Health Department found in an analysis it prepared early last year that hydraulic fracturing could be conducted safely in New York should come as no surprise to anyone who has watched this industry grow and prosper across the United States. In fact, these reports confirm what has been clear for some time now: sensible regulations can ensure safe natural gas development will protect land, water and public health while providing tens of thousands of good jobs throughout the Marcellus Shale,” said Executive Director Karen Moreau.
“We know some will try to play politics with this news; frankly that has been the case for years now. We have seen in recent days what happens when government leaders put politics before the people. We have also seen leaders from both parties here in New York denounce that kind of decision-making. We hope and trust they will apply the same standard to hydraulic fracturing.
“If they do, the choice is very clear. New York can create more than 25,000 jobs, save family farms, keep families together and lift entire communities by moving forward with safe natural gas development. We respect the process the Governor has established, and trust that in the end the interest of the people will come before fear mongering and politics.”
Three outside experts are reviewing DEC’s health impact assessment but the materials they are reviewing haven’t been made public. Environmental groups have criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration for conducting the health review in secret.
Cuomo has said he’ll lift a ban on fracking if it can be done safely.
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