MOUNTAINKEEPER FEATURED IN JON CAMPBELL STORY IN PRESS CONNECTS NOVEMBER 20, 2012
Industry groups angered by NY fracking delay
With deadline next week, groups object to length of process, health review experts
In an update sent to its members Monday, Catskill Mountainkeeper called the three academics “highly qualified medical experts.” But the group, which has called for a ban on fracking, called on the Cuomo administration to bring more transparency to the process and reveal exactly what the experts will be reviewing.“Although the caliber of the experts that have been selected for this task is very high, there are still major problems with this process,” the group wrote. READ THE ENTIRE STORY HERE
NYS Health Commissioner Nirav Shah names three outside experts to health panel
State’s Review of the Health Impact of Fracking Moving Forward
New York State Health Commissioner Nirav Shah has named three highly qualified medical experts to assist him in the state’s internal review of the health impacts of hydraulic fracturing. They are John Adgate, chairman of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department at the Colorado School of Public Health; Lynn Goldman, dean of George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services; and Richard Jackson, chairman of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
This follows Governor Cuomo’s announcement in October that he was asking for further review of the information that the State has prepared on the health impact of fracking. Although the caliber of the experts that have been selected for this task is very high, there are still major problems with this process.
- These experts will only be looking at the documentation that has been previously been prepared by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
- No one outside of the government has seen the information that these experts will be reviewing.
- There is no transparency – the medical community and the public are being left out of the process.
- It is unclear whether these three experts will have the independence and autonomy they need and deserve to do the job right.
As we said when this was announced, we agree that a review of the health impacts of fracking is critical but the process that is being implemented is very inadequate to protect the public health. The only type of health review that would be sufficient is a comprehensive and rigorous independent Health Impact Assessment (HIA), which distinguishes itself from other kinds of public health investigations by using quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques.
A deadline is looming on November 29th – the date when the state is supposed to have completed its process and issued final regulations on fracking. This date now appears to be virtually impossible for the DEC to meet, which would open the process to additional public input. Catskill Mountainkeeper will keep you informed about what develops and continue to pressure the Governor to order an independent HIA. Please click the link below to send Governor Cuomo an email.