Let the Science make the Decision on Fracking
Governor Cuomo has promised that the decision on whether fracking would go forward in New York State would be guided by science, but recent actions by his admininistration are contrary to that goal. The New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) has now put in motion a process for the health review of fracking that does not give the medical experts the Governor appointed the time to do a thorough review and is not open to public comment. The DEC has not given the medical experts that were appointed time to do a thorough review of the health impacts of fracking and has limited public comment. For a quick overview of how we got to this point click here: Peter Mantius: Doctors' fracking concerns being ignored Corning Leader - December 2, 2012 It appears as if the medical experts hired to review the health impact of fracking in New York State are being given just days each to review what the Department of Health (DOH) has already written. One of the experts, Lynn Goldman, made statements to the press that she had a December 3rd, 2012 deadline to complete her work even though she had signed a contract only 10 days prior and at that time had not yet seen the health review. We have learned that the state signed contracts with each medical expert that limits their work to 25 hours each. The actions of the medical experts will not be a comprehensive independent health impact assessment that New Yorkers have been asking for. In fact based on the amount of time they’re being given, they will hardly have time to read the data on the health impacts of fracking that has already been written. Catskill Mountainkeeper and our partners have been advocating for a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) since 2008. Our requests for a comprehensive and rigorous independent HIA that distinguishes itself from other kinds of public health investigations by using quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques have been ignored.
- The health review process now has NO public input of any kind, which is totally unacceptable.
- The comment period on the fracking regulations is a mere 30 days, and the timing over the holidays seems designed to stifle public comment.
- The effort to push forward the fracking decision is anything but the open, transparent, comprehensive process that is needed.
Please do these three things to protect New Yorkers: Write to Governor Cuomo now using our easy email form. Call Governor Cuomo NYC Office (212) 681-4580 Albany Office (518) 474-8390 And very importantly, make comments on the problems with the fracking regulations as we report them to you in the next few weeks. It is critical that as many New Yorkers as possible weigh in on what is wrong with the proposed fracking regulations. On November 29th, the Governor authorized the DEC to file a 90-day extension to its initial November 29th deadline for releasing proposed regulations for fracking, paving the way for fracking to begin by spring. A 30-day comment period is in place that would start on December 12th and go through the holidays – which seems to be designed to limit public comment.