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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: 1254

Walter Zeichner
2395 Towne Hill Rd
East Montpelier, VT
Elizabeth Panus
60 Summit Ave.
Buffalo, NY
Raymon Elozua
PO Box 129
Mountaindale, NY
Eric Slater
Sybarus Ventures
49 EAST 74th Street
New York, NY
Jennifer Fitzsimmons
700 maple drive
Webster, Ny
3336 Podunk Rd
Trumansburg, NY
Ellen Schmidt
Mikki Chalker
119 Prospect St
Binghamton, NY
Robin Schmidt
Scott Teel
710 N. Cayuga St., Apt. 3
Ithaca, NY
Elizabeth Tobier
8602 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Apt 3D
Brooklyn , NY
David HJ Bullard
Clark Rd.
Gansevoort,, NY, 12831
Adam Engst
TidBITS Publishing Inc.
50 Hickory Road
Ithaca, New York
Robbee Fian
484 west 43rd St
Mark Hado
172 East 7th Street, Apt 5C
New York,, NY
Nora Schmidt
Laurene Gilbert
656 Five Mile Dr
Ithaca, NY
Nancy Istock
41 Horizon Dr.
Ithaca, NY
Andrea Thompson
University of California, Santa Cruz
2004 Ocean St Extension
Santa Cruz, CA
Julia Morgan
234 Rachel Carson Way
Ithaca, NY
Martin Myers
761 Adirondack Rd. PO Box280
Schroon Lake, New York
Marybeth Dougherty
3738B Peas Eddy Rd.
Hancock, NY
Regional No Fracking Organizations
89 Reynold Street
City Island, New York
Robert Warfield
4B1 Candlewyck Drive
Ithaca, NY
Jean Hricik
445 Smith-Kingsman Rd.
McDonough, NY
Jonathan Comstock
114 Bald Hill School Road
Brooktondale, NY
Nancy Garver
106 Sheridan Park
Geneva, NY
Richard Johnsen
343 Raymond Fish Rd.
Hartwick, NY
Robert Sawchuk
18 Guilford Ct. Unit B
Ridge, NY
Ann Bussiere
9327 State Highway 30
Downsville, NY
Donald Coleman
4690 White Road
Livonia, NY
Gloria Loehle
423 N Geneva St Apt 1
Ithaca, NY
Beth Ellen Clark Joseph
Ithaca College
926 Steam Mill Road
Ithaca, NY
Amy Cheatle
515 W. Clinton st
Ithaca, Ny
Aubrey Clark
Hoy Foundation
774 Bunn Hill Rd.
Vestal, NY
Lonnie Chu
179 Nichols Ave
Syracuse, NY
Nancy Hutto
10052 416th Ave. SE
North Bend, Washington
Ian Rosenstein
Associate Professor of Chemistry
6971 Reservoir Road
Clinton, NY
Tony Martignetti
Heidi Schwaninger
210 Creamery Rd
Richford, NY
Emily Smith
76 Quaker Hill Drive
Croton on Hudson, New York
Linda Achimore
507 North Manlius Street
Fayetteville, NY
Janet Terchek
832 Willis Place
Roselle Park, New Jersey
Thomas Rippolon
438 peekskill hollow rd
putnam valley, NY
Lisa Walters
711 King Hill rd
Newark Valley, New York
elaine jurumbo
205 e 78 st apt 6s
new york, ny
Joel Wysong
2675 Agard Road
Trumansburg, NY
Charles Reiman
Middlefield Neighbors
228 Campbell Hill Road Cooperstown
Cooperstown, ny
Irene Huhner
Roberta Favant
680 W 204 ST 6F
New York, NY