Negative impacts on human health have accompanied gas drilling using hydrofracking wherever it has been done. Despite that, the permit conditions proposed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to “govern” fracking makes little mention of the health impacts of fracking. That is why Catskill Mountainkeeper and our coalition partners are demanding that the legislature require that an independent comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) be done prior to any further discussions of shale gas. In October 2011, 250 physicians and medical professionals wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo calling for a comprehensive public health impact assessment. This was sent because the concerns outlined in a previous letter sent to The department of health and the Governor were clearly ignored in the draft Supplemental generic environmental Impact statement (SGEIS) . A health impact assessment, which is defined by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, "INCLUDES MANY TOOLS THAT HELP ENSURE THE VALIDITY OF THE FINDINGS AND HAVE MULTIPLE PLACES FOR PUBLIC INPUT TO THE DOCUMENT." This will tell New Yorkers what the “true” costs of gas drilling are. Certainly the risk to the human and animal health in New York State justifies that such a health Impact assessment be done. On Tuesday our allies in the Assembly worked to have this attached to the budget as a resolution. Now the industry is pushing hard to have it removed. The Cuomo administration keeps calling for science not emotion. This is the science. Call Assemblyman Sheldon Silver today! Thank him and ask him to continue the fight to keep a Health Impact Assessment in the Budget. It is very important that he hears from you now. New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Contact Information: District Office 212-312-1420 Albany Office 518-455-3791
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