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Letter to Fracking Panel Members Requests that DOH Review be Put On-Hold and That a Comprehensive Shale Fracking Public Health Impact Study be Undertaken

October 17, 2013

To: Hon. Thomas W. Libous, Hon. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Esq., Hon. Kate Sinding, Esq., Hon. Eric A. Goldstein, Esq., Hon. Mark Brownstein, Hon. Thomas J. Santulli, Hon. Robert B. Catell, Hon. Mark K. Boling, Esq., Hon. Jeff Williams, Hon. Bradley Gill, Hon. Heather Briccetti, Hon. Kathleen McGinty, J. D., Hon. James B. Bays


Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, a member of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, has written a carefully documented and respectful letter calling for Dr. Shah's inadequate shale fracking "review" to be put on hold and for a comprehensive "Public Health Impact Study" to be conducted to resolve all Marcellus Shale health hazard concerns once and for all.

See her letter at:

We, the undersigned, write to request that the other members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel take similar action to require Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to:

a) halt Dr. Shah's DOH Review because it has been conducted in secret without any public input, has unacceptable major shortcomings and cannot fulfill its mandates; and

b) resolve High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) health concerns once and for all by undertaking a comprehensive, open and transparent "Public Health Impact Study."

DOH Review Would be Informed by Three Shockingly Incomplete HVHF Health Impact Studies

Three "comprehensive studies" that Dr. Shah claimed would "assist in informing" his DOH Review are shockingly incomplete.

On 2/12/13, Dr. Shah wrote DEC Commissioner Martens that one of the reasons his DOH Review had not been completed was that he wanted to review "the first comprehensive studies of HVHF health impacts...(emphasis added) and receive "first-hand briefings on these studies and their progress, which will assist in informing the New York Review (emphasis added)."

He specifically cited an extensive investigation by Geisinger Health Systems "which cares for many patients in areas where shale gas is being developed in Pennsylvania, [and] is undertaking studies to analyze health records for asthma and other respiratory diseases, accidents and injuries, as well as birth outcomes (emphasis added)."

He said that his Review would be completed "within a few weeks..."


On 6/19/13, Associated Press reported that Geisinger only has $1.0 million out of $25.0 million required to undertake its proposed studies. The Geisinger investigation obviously has not progressed far enough to inform Dr. Shah about anything.


The two other studies are equally incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency's study reportedly will not be done until at least 2016.

DOH Review Fails to Fulfill its Mandates

There can be no dispute that Dr. Shah's Review fails to fulfill its mandates to:

a) address "any legitimate request for additional due diligence and study…(emphasis added);"

b) ensure that "DEC's ultimate decision on hydraulic fracturing is beyond reproach either as a matter of law or as policy (emphasis added);

c) allow DEC to avail "ourselves of the best possible advice from the private and academic sectors (emphasis added);" and

d) "… result in the most thorough review of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the nation…(emphasis added)."


Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel Has Responsibility to Address DOH Review Shortcomings

Members of the Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel have a clear responsibility to address the shortcomings of the DOH Review because Dr. Shah wrote:

"In particular we are focused on the relationship of HVHF to the health impacts of drinking water contamination, but also other areas such as air quality and community impacts (emphasis added)."

Among other responsibilities, the Advisory Panel is charged with:

"developing recommendations to ensure DEC and other agencies are enabled to properly oversee, monitor and enforce high-volume hydraulic fracturing activities;"

"developing recommendations to avoid and mitigate impacts to local governments and communities (emphasis added)."


Given the major shortcomings of Dr. Shah's Review detailed herein, it is imperative that Governor Cuomo halt the fatally flawed DOH Review and require New York State to conduct its own comprehensive, open and transparent shale fracturing "Public Health Impact Study" without further delay.

Dr. Shah observed: "The time to ensure the impacts on public health are properly considered is before (emphasis in the original) a state permits drilling." That concern is of paramount importance because Governor Cuomo stated on 5/22/13 that Dr. Shah's Review "should be done in the next several weeks."


If you are unable to persuade Governor Cuomo to resolve the grave shortcomings of the DOH Review, you should consider resigning your position because the Advisory Panel obviously would not be worthy of its purpose.

Thank you for your consideration.

Very truly yours,

cc: Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo

Honorable Joseph Martens

Honorable Nirav R. Shah

Honorable Donna Lupardo

Total Signatory Count: 1253

James W Leftwich
122 Valley View Road
Ithaca, NY
Walter Hang
215 N. Cayuga St
Ithaca, New York
Rich DePaolo
Town of Ithaca
Ithaca, NY
Donald Gregorius
Ulster County Legislature
172 Van Dale Rd.
Woodstock, NY
Tarik Abdelazim
Director, Planning, Housing & Community Development
City of Binghamton - Planning & Development
38 Hawley Street
Binghamton, NY
Ken Zeserson
Planning Board Chair, Town of Ulysses
83 Maplewood Road
Ithaca, NY
Penelope King
Town Clerk
Town of Meredith
PO Box 15
Meridale, New York
C.J. Randall
City of Ithaca Planning & Development Board
309 W. Green St.
Ithaca, New York
Terry Cuddy
Cayuga Anti-Fracking Alliance
133 S. Hoopes Ave.
Auburn, NY
Erin Heaton
Vice Chair
Chenango Community Action for Renewable Energy
40 Sarles Street
Armonk, New York
Nicole Dillingham
Board President
Otsego 2000, Inc.
PO Box 101
Springfield Center, New York
Judith Hyman
Enfield Neighbors for Save Air and Water
632 Bostwick Road
Ithaca, NY
Marsha Acerra
1010 North Tioga Street
Ithaca, NY
Greg Pitts
219 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Maria Luisa Tasayco
Emerita Professor of Chemistry/Biochemistry from CCNY and The Graduate Center of CUNY
City College of New York
116 Pinehurst Ave H43
New York, NY
Larysa Dyrszka
Pediatrician, Public Health Advocate
124 Chapin Trail
White Lake, NEW YORK
Andrew D. Coates
Assistant Professor of Medicine & Psychiatry
Albany Medical College
808 Feura Bush Rd.
Delmar, NY
Beth Olearczyk
Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Attending Physician, Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, NY
87 Pioneer St.
Cooperstown, NY
John Cisne
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell
27 N. Landon Road
Ithaca, NY
Gilbert Levine
Professor Emeritus
Cornell University
71 Brooktondale Rd.
Ithaca, New York
Laura Malloy
Protect Laurens
2258 St Hwy 205
Mt. Vision, NY
Thomas Shelley
Chairperson of Board of Directors
Sustainable Tompkins
118 E. Court St.
Ithaca, NY
John Bijarney
Concerned Citizens of Rural Broome
101 South Street
Chenango Forks, New York
Laurie Goodhart
Organic Farmer, Co-Founder
Nettle Meadow Farm, Domaine De Courval
1159 C.R. 59
Cambridge, NY
Jerry Ravnitzky
Concerned Residents of Carmel & Mahopac
124 Hill Street
Mahopac, New York
John and Sue Gregoire
Directors, chief scientists
Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory
Kestrel Haven Avian Migration Observatory
Burdett, NY
Ronald Lytel
Principal and Founder
Ronald L. Lytel Design
87 Pioneer St.
Cooperstown, NY
Gilly Burlingham
Regional Action Group for the Environment- RAGE
Wellspring Farm 6320 Soper Rd.
Perry, NY
Bill Metzger
Great Lakes Brewing News
571 S Park Ave
Buffalo, New York
Sam Sebren
founding member
Greene Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN)
PO Box 131
Athens, NY
Joanne Corey
Vestal Residents for Safe Energy (VeRSE)
209 Lewis St
Vestal, NY
Carla Sullivan
Concerned Citizens of Rural Broome
22 Lewis Street
Maine, New York
The Rev. Linda Wilson
627 Roses Brook Rd. P. O. Box 154
South Kortright, NY
Ruth Hyde
lifetime member
Bergen Swamp Society
61 Fernboro Road
Rochester, NY
Steve Ellsworth
Concerned Citizens of McDonough (NY)
850 Hammerle Rd.
Oxford, NY
Kathleen Stein
League of Women Voters
84 Judson St.
Canton, NY
Cathy Caruth
Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters
Cornell University
108 Oak Hill Rd.
Ithaca, NY
Mildred Sanders
Cornell University
16 The Byway
Ithaca, NY
Rebecca Casstevens
Sole Proprietor
BeanCounters Unlimited
22 Winding Way
Binghamton, NY
Larraine McNulty
Upper Unadilla Valley Association
156 Pritchard Road
West Winfield, NY
Zorika Henderson
7 Sunny Knoll
Ithaca, NY
R. Dunleavey
Exec Board Member
Catskill Heritage Alliance
101 Kellly Road
Arkville, NY
Carol Manuel
National Alliance for Drilling Reform, Sierra Club
95 Ridgemont Drive
Rochester, NY
Emily Bishop
Regional organizer CNY
New Yorkers against fracking
4927 S Salina St
Syracuse, New York
Cassandra Brown
official endorsement
108 County Highway 10
Morris, New York
Kathe Sandstrom
Membership Chair; Area Coordinator
Mid-Hudson Sierra Club; Mid-Hudson Mensa
48 S Manheim
New Paltz, NY
G Gerrard
Gerrards' Prancing Pony Pfarm
Black River, NY
Amanda Means
Beacon Climate Action
5 Hanna Lane, #5
Beacon, NY
David Shalloway
Eugene DeZarn
3965 Spring Road East
West Sparta, NY