NY groups want details on fracking health study

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm •  Published: December 18, 2012

No details of the DEC's health impact assessment have been made public. The assessment was not included in the 1,500-page draft environmental impact study released in September 2011. That document and an earlier version released in 2009 generated more than 80,000 public comments.

The letter from the environmental coalition says: "To be valid and meaningful, it is absolutely critical that the health review process provide a genuine opportunity for input by local, county and New York State medical and public health professionals."

Brad Gill, head of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York, said energy companies "believe that state agencies have met, and exceeded, their obligations to assess potential health impacts" and they "strongly oppose any further delay."

With the health impact review still pending, the DEC released revised drilling regulations for public comment on Dec. 12 and is taking comments until Jan. 11. The environmental groups also criticized that decision, saying the health review should come first.

Groups signing the letter include Catskill Mountainkeeper, Common Cause, Environmental Advocates, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Earthjustice and Adirondack Mountain Club, among others.

John Krohn, a spokesman for the industry group Energy in Depth, said the latest effort is "more of the same from activists opposing oil and gas development" in New York.

"Their intention is not to ensure a solid regulatory document but rather to delay its approval indefinitely," he said.