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Marcellus Shale Press Coverage

Fracking opponents want a say in the state's review of health impacts

BINGHAMTON — Opponents of hydrofracking in New York are asking for a say in the state’s review of its public health impacts.

Binghamton Mayor Matthew T. Ryan and other opponents of natural gas drilling on Tuesday called for formal public participation and other revisions to the New York State Department of Health’s review of hydrofracking.

“The problem with that entire proceeding is it is being undertaken completely in secret,” said Walter Hang, president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting. “There has never been a piece of paper released to the public about the scope of the health review, about how it’s being undertaken, about what its critical issues are.”

More than 1,000 drilling opponents, including several public officials, have signed on to a letter asking for formal written notice of what the Department of Health’s review involves, a minimum of 30 days of written review and comment on the review and at least one public hearing where interested parties can testify about how the review should be conducted.

“If it’s ever going to be done in our state, we need to make sure that there’s integrity in the process,” Ryan said Tuesday.

Fracktivists Push for Public Input

There should be public participation allowed into New York State's health assessment on fracking.

That's according to a group of scientists, doctors, politicians, farmers and other residents. They have sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking him to put the State Health Department's review on-hold. Walter Hang, of Ithaca based Toxics Targeting, says the review needs to have formal written notice of what it involves. He also says it should allow for 30 days of public review and comment. And, there should be at least one public hearing.

Walter Hang says, "The final SGEIS must not be adopted, that entire proceeding has to be put on hold until these public participation requirements are completed. The last thing is we want to make sure that critical concerns that have been excluded from the proceeding are addressed."

Hang says those include the state not adequately addressing 650,000 known and potential toxic sites. And, thousands of abandoned gas and oil wells. Toxics Targeting has created an interactive map where you can see those areas of concern. It can be found at

Coalition writes governor a letter against fracking

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Hydrofracking opponents continue to push for public participation in the state's ongoing health review of the procedure.

Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan was joined by other coalition members Tuesday to announce the details of a letter that is being sent to the Governor. It has gained more than 1,500 signatures from environmental and civic groups, as well as scientists, physicians and other citizens.

The letter requests that Governor Andrew Cuomo put the Department of Health Review on hold, pending formal public participation and other revisions.

"There has never been a single piece of paper released to the public about the scope of the Department of Health review, how it’s being undertaken, what the critical issues are. There has been no public disclosure or public notice in any way about that entire proceeding," said Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting.

Fracking Health Campaign

*** VIEW VIDEO ***

Activists who want to keep the state's moratorium on fracking are pressuring the governor to open the state's health review of the drilling practice open to the public.

They also came armed with maps showing current toxic sites and locations of uncapped wells in New York State to argue the d-e-c hasn't been able to properly regulate conventional drilling. State DEC commissioner Joe Martens said his department won't set forth fracking regulations before the health review is finished.

"It is being undertaken completely in secret. There has never been a single piece of paper released to the public about the scope of the Department of Health review, about how it is being undertaken," said Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting.

"New York state had a great record and that's why we didn't have to recreate the wheel? Well it's clear we have to recreate the wheel especially for an industry that is far more intrusive than vertical drilling," said Binghamton Mayor Matt Ryan.

Campaign Launched to Require Formal Public Participation and Major Revisions for DOH Fracking Review

From Walter Hang:

Binghamton Mayor Matthew Ryan and representatives of a statewide coalition of environmental, civic and good-government groups as well as scientists, physicians, farmers, artists and local business owners will announce the launching of a campaign calling for formal public participation and major revisions to the New York State Department of Health's Review of the Public Health Impact of High Volume, Hydraulic Fracturing.

Cuomo on fracking: Decision too important to rush

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday pushed back against the suggestion his administration is playing politics in further delaying a decision on hydraulic fracturing, saying the issue is “too important to make a mistake.”

Cuomo’s administration this week said it would not meet a Feb. 27 deadline to finalize a set of long-awaited regulations for high-volume fracking, the method used to extract natural gas from shale formations. In a letter Tuesday, Health Commissioner Nirav Shah said he needs a “few weeks” to complete a review of fracking’s impacts on human health — a study he launched in September.

Speaking in Queens on Wednesday, Cuomo told reporters he wouldn’t rush Shah to meet an “arbitrary” deadline.

“I don’t think that’s prudent and I don’t think that’s right and I won’t do it,” said Cuomo, who reiterated his call for a decision based on “facts and information” and not “emotion”.

The delay sparked a renewed round of criticism from gas-drilling supporters, who have expressed continued frustration with the state’s indecisiveness on whether to open the gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation to drilling.

Lifton calls for further, public fracking review

ALBANY — State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, joined with 65 lawmakers to support putting hydrofracking’s health review on hold, so there can be public review and comment on the process.

Lifton called the Department of Health review "unacceptably inadequate.”

NY lawmakers want public input on fracking review

ALBANY, N.Y. — A coalition of 65 state lawmakers is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release the Department of Environmental Conservation's review of potential health impacts of shale gas drilling for public comment before deciding whether to allow drilling to begin.


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