FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tina Posterli, 516-526-9371, firstname.lastname@example.org
White Plains, NY — October 5, 2012 — Riverkeeper commends the over 50 medical professionals and the Broome and Tompkins County Medical Societies who renewed their call for the state to conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment (HIA) on fracking in a letter to Governor Cuomo released yesterday.
Although DEC announced on September 20 that NYS Health Commissioner Nirav Shah would complete a review of the health portions of DEC’s environmental impact statement on fracking, the state has not released the details of what this review will entail. Nor has the state made available the portions of DEC’s environmental review which will be the subject of DOH’s evaluation. In their letter, the members of the medical community express their concern that if the review proposed by DEC Commissioner Martens differs significantly from the comprehensive HIA that they have requested, it will not be sufficient to determine whether fracking will result in public health concerns that cannot be addressed.
Riverkeeper urges DOH and DEC to follow the overwhelming recommendation of the medical professionals to undertake the preparation of a comprehensive health study that at least meets the minimum requirements of a HIA — that it be transparent, inclusive of all stakeholders, meet recognized public heath protocols, and include public participation. We agree with the medical community that the only way to answer the question of whether fracking can be done without major threat to public health is for the state to do a truly comprehensive health study, with all relevant stakeholders and experts at the table. Anything less will be unlikely to provide the basis for public trust in the integrity of NY’s fracking review process.