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Governor Cuomo's indication that fracking isn't imminent in NY provides welcome room to evaluate the health risks

Kate Sinding

Posted September 12, 2012

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In June, a New York Times report detailing apparent plans by New York State to move forward with fracking in limited areas sparked a great deal of criticism. In response to the news, NRDC quickly issued a statement, along with over 100 other groups and individuals across the state, reaffirming our support for a continued statewide moratorium on fracking until public health and environmental risks are fully assessed.

More recently, media outlets speculated that a definitive announcement from Governor Cuomo would come just after Labor Day, leaving people on all sides of the issue to anxiously await the symbolic end of summer. One week later, we finally have an answer: there are no immediate plans for a decision on fracking.

Speaking on Monday to Albany radio station WGDJ, Governor Cuomo said that he won’t pressure DEC with a deadline to make a final determination on whether or not fracking can be done safely, The Ithaca Journal reports. This is good news. Cuomo’s position offers a golden opportunity to act with careful deliberativeness, prioritizing New York State’s environment and the health of its citizens over the interests of the gas industry. It’s absolutely imperative that a complete, science-based—and unhurried—assessment of the risks associated with fracking be performed before any decisions about moving forward take place.

One critical thing the Governor should do immediately is commit his environmental and health agencies to having an independent assessment performed of the potential health impacts associated with proposed new fracking in the state.

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JAGSep 12 2012 11:55 PM

The siting of pads near homes is cruel. The impacts from noise, smells, lights, trucks, contaminants in air and water, make living with the threat of one or more wells a frightening thought. If this industry gains a foothold in NYS it should be limited in location. As far away from homes and community activity as necessary so no impacts are felt. Those who choose to lease to gas operators need to think about the harm to their neighbors.

Gov. Cuomo should initiate a study on impacts not regulated by DEC. Can they be mitigated by regulations restricting location of pads? How about a severance tax to pay for toxic clean up, additional emergency and law enforcement, replacement of roads...? I don't think Cuomo has a thorough understanding of what might happen.

A fellow scientistSep 13 2012 01:57 PM

Lets look at history, we destroyed the Hudson River; the most historic and beautiful river in America. It may never return to the clean state it once was. With that, all possibility for commericail fishing and other economic viability went out the window in the 1980's. all this was done in the name of jobs and industry. Do we want to go down this road again??

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