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250+ Doctors urge Governor Cuomo not to frack with our health

The medical community has joined the rising number of voices urging caution and careful study of hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Over 250 health professionals have delivered a letter to Governor Cuomo expressing their strong concern with the omission of a health impacts analysis from the revised draft of the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS), the document which would guide fracking in NY.

In the letter, dated October 5, the doctors requested that the state appoint an independent party, such as a school of public health, to conduct a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on NY’s fracking proposal. The request for an HIA is in response to a refusal by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to include a study of health impacts in the SGEIS.

The group went on to call for the Governor and the state environmental agency (DEC) to extend the 90-day comment period for the SGEIS to 180 days in order to allow the medical profession to fully examine the statement in its entirety. They also urged that a doctor with public health experience be assigned to the High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel.

Among the reasons for their appeal, the doctors cited mounting evidence from other states of the negative health effects on residents who live near drilling operations, the precedent set by states such as Colorado and Alaska that have included an HIA during the environmental review process, and the EPA’s suggestion that the DOH act as co-lead with the DEC during the review to help determine the health impacts associated with hydrofracking.

You can click here to read the full text of the letter to Governor Cuomo

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